Types of Horse Racing: Know Which Tournament Your Equine Athlete Fits Best


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Types of Horse Racing: Know Which Tournament Your Equine Athlete Fits Best


Before listing your racehorse to small-town tournaments or popular world cups like the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Race, make sure that you know its type and nature. It is a big shame entering into an event that you do not know even its rules, regulations, requirements, and scope. Being uninformed and ignorant to the type of racing that you intend your horse to run for is like forcing your athlete to run in the field with its eyes completely blinded.

Can you imagine how your horse could have been running without any goal of outrunning its competitors, and without any sense of direction at all? The horror!

Aside from an unguided equine athlete, being familiar to the racing types may cause the both of you in losing the game. How? You may have trained and conditioned your racehorse to run fast enough, but that training does not fit to the racing’s type. As a result, you are most likely misleading and conditioning your horse to skills that are not even counted in the race. Thus, the horse’s energy and strength are just wasted to activities that will not help it win.

To avoid your racehorse from experiencing the circumstances mentioned above, gear yourself with adequate knowledge on the different types of horse racing. In this way, you can train your horse rightly, and register it to its suitable race type.


Common Types of Horse Racing


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Listed below are the 4 common types of horse racing:


Type 1: The Harness Racing


During the ancient Roman period, people were already introduced to harness racing as Romans rode their extravagant chariots for races. This type of horse racing was prevalent in its early days. However, the use of a harness is already sporadic nowadays because of a couple of reasons. First, riding in a chariot is quite dangerous for people. Second, the saddle attached to the horse restricts it from having a fluid and free-flow run.

If you think harness racing is relaxed for your racehorse, then think again! Not all equine athletes are suitable for harness racing. There are a few countries who restrict their standardbred horses from joining a harness racing. They believe that an attached cartwheel forces the horse to an unnatural gait. Consequently, only a few horse breeds can withstand harness racing because of some particular genetic ability.


Type 2: The Quarter Horse Racing


Quarter horses earned their name from their massive muscles and their jolting speed. If your athlete has these abilities, then they might be perfect for a quarter horse racing. These equines are known for their swiftness that they can run 55 miles in just an hour. The only downside of this race type is that quarter horses can only run within a shorter distance when compared to Thoroughbreds.

Furthermore, quarter horse racing has produced great horses and trainers. These horses are already exposed to heavy racings at an early age of 2 years. Because of this, quarter horses are already accustomed to worldwide tracks, and extensive training. If you consider entering a quarter horse racing, make sure that your horse is well-conditioned to this type. Otherwise, you and your athlete will look like a joke in the racetrack.


Type 3: The Flat Racing


Today, flat racing is the most favored type of racing by many horse enthusiasts. Participating horses in this type are usually Thoroughbreds who have eminent stamina and speed. These skills have to be present in a flat race because athletes will be running at a long distance with a high-velocity rate.

Equine athletes in a flat racing run in a flat racetrack without any obstacles on the way. Thus, jumping and other skills known to horses are not necessary for this kind of race. However, horses can be put to a track of dirt, grass court, or an artificial racing surface. Therefore, if you plan of enrolling your athlete in flat racing, you should train your horse to fields and programs appropriate for this type.


Type 4: The Jump Racing


Jump racing, also known as national hunt and steeplechases, is one of the most famous horse racing types around the world. This type gives rough challenges and obstacles to the horses. Athletes have to jump over fences, gutters, and other inhibitions to win the competition. Hence, when training a horse for a jump racing, do not focus on speed but concentrate on its fluid movements and intellectual responses.

Though prominent, jump racing faces a lot of controversies because of its nature as it imposes danger to the athletes. Some countries take these controversies seriously to the point of banning this type in their horse tournaments. They believe that the injuries brought by jump racing to horses manifest animal cruelty. In response to this issue, an organization suggested having at least two weeks of an interval between races.




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Horse racing has dramatically evolved over the years. Changes on its rules and regulations are almost constant. To keep yourself on track, always be updated and well-informed, so you won’t gamble your money to an uncertain game and won’t cause any severe damage to your racehorse.




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