The Truth About Horse Racing
Horse racing is a sport that has long captured the imagination of people across the globe. This is because the game offers a thrilling and engaging experience. In addition, it has shaped culture and history. However, behind the glamorous façade of Thoroughbred races there is a world of drug abuse, gruesome breakdowns, and slaughter. The animal rights organization PETA has called for Congressional hearings into the industry.
Horses used for racing are forced to sprint at such speeds that they often sustain injuries, hemorrhage in their lungs, and even break down completely. This is why the sport is so dangerous. The animals are also subjected to whips and electric shocking devices. In addition, many of them are drugged. Random drug testing is in place, but trainers frequently over-medicate their horses. This leads to egregious violations and the over-training of horses that eventually breaks them down. These horses are then sold at auction, and eventually shipped off to be slaughtered.
During the early days of horse racing, only one prize was offered for each race. As demand for public racing increased, races began to offer second and third prizes. Eventually fourth and fifth prizes were added. Prize money increased the popularity of the sport and inspired horse owners and jockeys to compete for more than bragging rights.
There are different rules that govern each country’s horse racing. However, most of these rules are based on the British Horseracing Authority’s original rulebook. For instance, a horse’s age, sex, birthplace, and past performance are factors that determine whether it is eligible for a race. Other factors include the horse’s training and its rider.
A horse that is not whipped during a race is said to be “handicapped.” Its rider has a duty to “rate” the horse by running his hands up and down its neck. A jockey that tries to control the horse with his hand rather than using the whip is said to be riding “handily.”
When a horse wins a race, it is declared to be “in the money.” A jockey that places in the top four is considered to be “in the money.”
The classic age of three years has largely disappeared due to escalating purses, breeding fees, and sales prices. However, some races do admit older horses. These include the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France, the Caulfield and Sydney cups in Australia, and the Durban July in South Africa.