Horse racing has long captured people’s imaginations. Some may view the sport as inhumane and marred by doping and overbreeding; others see it as “The Sport of Kings.” As betting has increased and races take place around the globe, its popularity has skyrocketed; now considered an international industry with top contenders coming from local breeding programs as well.
Horses are beloved sports animals due to their strength, agility and speed. Trained for races over specific distances, winners are determined by which one crosses the finish line first. Each category of horses has their own set of rules and regulations to abide by.
Modern horse racing was established in Europe during the 1660s. Organized horse races first appeared in North America by Colonel Richard Nicolls during British occupation of New York City. Nicolls created an organized 2-mile (3.2-kilometer) course on Long Island’s plains and awarded silver cups to winners; their most successful race horses would then be sent off to exclusive stud farms to ensure their bloodlines continued onwards.
An individual horse’s success in racing depends on several factors, including its speed and agility, track conditions, its jockey, trainer, as well as any races they prefer competing in and their purse amounts. Some races offer greater purses for certain horses than others and their performance may also be determined by proximity to inside barriers, gender issues or the number of other horses competing against it.
Training a horse for racing is key. Trainers work on building up its fitness, while jockeys help steer it around turns while using whips during races to increase speed – though some races limit how often jockeys may use whips during each round.
Bettors typically place bets on which horse they believe will win during horse races, with the winning horse crossing the finish line first and receiving payout based on how much was betted on each racer. Bettor options typically include Win, Place and Show bets – these three pay out depending on which racer finishes first or second while Show bets combine both types to payoff according to how well each horse performs overall.
Horse racing fans use various terms to describe the sport, with many having specific meanings. An “Across the Board bet” refers to wagers covering every possible outcome of a race; “Clubhouse Turn” denotes the first turn that begins on either the frontstretch or home stretch; and a Clocker is someone who time and rates workouts.