Horse racing has been a part of human culture for thousands of years. They were used as warhorses to prove their strength and majesty, as well as to transport people in buggies or carriages. Today, horses are still used in a variety of ways but racing is also an industry that has been greatly impacted by technology and advances in science and medicine. From thermal imaging cameras to MRI scanners, from endoscopes to 3D printing, horse racing has evolved to keep pace with technological advances and ensure the safety of its horses and racers on and off the track.
HORSE RACING RULES
The rules that govern horse races are complex. There are a number of different types of races, each with its own set of rules and regulations that must be followed. These include the standardization of races, a system of weight for age and sex (where young, immature horses have less weight to carry than older ones), handicapping to compensate for differences in past performance, and a system of allowances, whereby winning horses are awarded extra pounds that are not carried by all runners.
A standardization of race lengths and distances began with the establishment of the King’s Plate in 1751, which required that all six-year-old horses race in 4-mile heats with 168 pounds on their backs for a win. The King’s Plate was not the first standardized race, however; horses had been racing in heats for decades before that.
HORSE RACING STYLE
The most popular form of race in which horse are raced is the flat course. This is a course with an oval shape that is covered with grass. The surface is not always fast, but it is a good surface for horses to run on.
Other forms of racing are steeplechases, which are races over high obstacles. Thoroughbreds are also used in harness races, which involve running the horses in tandem with a chariot. The horse racers wear a padded harness, which is attached to the chariot and helps to absorb impact.
Behind the romanticized facade of horse racing is a world of drug abuse, gruesome breakdowns and slaughter. Patrick Battuello, who runs the activist group Horseracing Wrongs, calls horse racing “the Big Lie.” The athletes are drugged and whipped; pushed to their limit at speeds that can cause injuries including exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage. And most of them, according to PETA, are ultimately killed.