Horse Racing: Objective, Rules And Everything You Need To Know

Horse Racing: Objective, Rules And Everything You Need To Know

Must you have watched horse racing or at least heard about it or some horse racing news? If not, have you heard about placing a bet on the derby? Well, these both are horse racing variants. Equestrian sport has been around for generations and is very popular.  


Horse racing involves two or more horses in the game that are ridden by the jockeys on the racing course. The objective of the game is to finish first before the competitors. 


Horse racing is the most ancient sport which has been popular in Egypt, Syria, Babylon, Ancient Greece, and most other civilizations and other cultures in one or other form. 


Thoroughbred racing, which is popular in modern times, was made popular around the world by the British, specifically among the aristocracy class like the polo game. This is why sports racing is also famous among the fans by the name of ‘Sport of Kings.’ In the article, we have put together all the information on horse racing, which will help you better understand it. You will find its various aspects like the objective of it, equipment, and rules. 


Horse racing is particularly famous in the UK, like the Grand National horse racing. This game is also enjoyed in other nations in various forms, like Kentucky Derby in the USA. 


Although there are generally types of horse racing, these are:

  • Flat Racing: Flat horse racing is where the horses compete on an oval or straight racing track. The track is unhindered by any fences or hurdles. 
  • Jump Racing: In this version, horses compete on a track where they need to jump over obstacles or hurdles to be the first and win the race. This version of horse racing is known by the name of National Hunt in the UK. 


Objective Of Horse Racing

The basic objective of horse racing is to win the race. It involves a great deal of insight and skill from the jockey, along with an extensive level of physical effort on the horse. To train a horse for this game also requires a skillful horse trainer that can give the horse the required training. Thus horse training becomes a lot more important, like the skills of a jockey. 


The short sprints in horse racing are straightforward, but other longer races like the Grand National that are for several miles require plenty of skills from the jockey as it requires them to race tactically. The jockeys in the longer races need to ride to their horse’s strength and plot the right time to go for a home run. 


Equipment And Players

One of the most vital pieces of equipment required for horse racing is the ‘horse.’ This is why the horse breeds used in horse racing are specifically bred and trained under a skillful horse trainer. 


The horse training for these horses is also particularly designed for them to make them one of the best. Some of the most preferred horse breeds for this game are Quarter Horses and Arabian Horses. 


Although the rules for which horse breeds can be used in the game differ according to the organization, this is because various organizations have different rules for the breeds that can compete in horse racing. 


Other equipments that are used in the race are a helmet and whip. Each jockey must wear a helmet, and they also carry a whip to intimidate horses into giving their best. Although the whip is a controversial piece of equipment as it is used to spur the horse and is thus considered a form of animal cruelty. 


For this reason, there are different rules for the use of the whip in different nations. In some nations, jockeys can use the whip according to their will, whereas on the other hand, in some countries like the UK, the number a horse can be whipped by the jockey is limited in order to avoid any distress on the horse. 



There is no scoring in horse racing when it comes to scoring, as it is an out and out sport. For this reason, there is no scoring, and there can only be one winner. However, there can also be some other prizes in some horse races to win in the race. One of the examples of such awards is the prize for ‘best-dressed horse.’ Such awards recognize the presentation and the physical condition of the horse. 


These other prizes are there to positively reinforce the jockeys and horse trainer to take good care of the horse. This also inspires the jockeys to not only focus on the winning but also the horse and be polite towards the animal. 


Winning The Race

To win a horse race, a jockey needs to navigate through the racecourse with their horse. This is done by jumping any fences or hurdles that are required to be crossed. In order to finally win, they need to arrive at the finishing line before any other competing horses and their riders. 


The stewardess declares the win at the finish line. However, in cases where more than one horse crossed the finish line together, and if there is confusion about who won, a photography win is declared. A photo finished is declared where the stewardess studies the photo of the finish to see which horse rider crossed the line first. This is done only if the naked eyes of a stewardess can’t declare the winner. 


Once the stewardess reaches a conclusion, the winner of the race is declared. But in cases where the stewardess can’t reach a conclusion to decide the winner horse, then the race is settled in accordance with the dead heat rules. 


Horse Racing Rules

The horse racing rules can differ from nation to nation, like the horse breeds and horse race bet placing rules. Although most of the rules in various nations for horse racing are the same as they are broadly based on the British Horseracing Authority’s Original Rulebook. 


Some of the horse racing rules are:

  • All the flat races in the horse racing sport should start from a stall or a beginning gate.
  • The other visions like the steeplechase, jump races, and hurdle races must start from a beginning gate or by the use of a flag. In cases where the flag is to be the starting point, special permission is needed. 
  • Any horse race may start using a flag regardless of the horse race type in any extraordinary circumstances. This can be done as long as the stewards or starter permits it. 
  • A false start is declared in cases where a horse breaks away before the start of the race.
  • Riders, after the start, need to attempt riding their horses to their best ability. If the stewards feel like a rider didn’t ride to their best on purpose, then further disqualifications might be levied, and the disqualification may occur. 
  • Riders are required to follow a safe riding manner in the race. 
  • To complete the race a rider is needed to cross the finishing line on his horseback. 
  • The prize money is split among the first, second, and third finishers depending on the particular race. 


Final Words

Horse racing and horse racing betting have been popular sports from the generation in various nations. Although the versions, names, and rules of this game differ from nation to nation. 


Horse racing betting has also been around for a long time now, is very popular among folks who like to bet. 


Jatin Choudhary

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