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What is Horse Racing?

horse race

Horse racing is a sport that involves horses running at a racetrack. It is one of the oldest sports in the world and has been a popular entertainment since ancient times.

It is a complex sport with many different aspects. It is not just a game, it’s also a business that requires skill and dedication.


Horse racing is one of the oldest sports in history. It has been played in a variety of cultures since it began around 4000 BC in Central Asia, shortly after humans began to domesticate horses.

The sport of horse racing was introduced to Europe in the 12th century. At that time, English knights returned home from the Crusades and brought Arab horses with them. These Arabian stallions were used to create the Thoroughbred breed of horse that would become known for its speed and stamina.

The earliest races were match races, in which two or more horses competed against each other over a specific distance. These matches were recorded in a book called the match book.


A horse race is a competition in which horses run at different distances on a racing track. These differ depending on the type of race and can include flat races, steeple chases, hurdle races, and jump races.

The length of a race is calculated by measuring the distance between two horses when they cross the finish line. The winner of a horse race must be the first to touch the finish line with their head.

The top three finishers in a horse race receive prize money. Special awards may also be awarded to horses that show good overall fitness and appearance.


Horse races are a popular sport and attract thousands of spectators to racing tracks across the world. Prize money is a big part of the excitement for both punters and horses.

Traditionally, race distances are measured in furlongs. This measurement dates back to the ninth century and is based on the length of a furrow in a ploughed acre of land.

It is a very traditional measure of length that is still used today in many horse racetracks, although some prominent jurisdictions use the metric system instead. It can be confusing to know which system to follow, so we have compiled a chart that compares distances from half a furlong (one-sixteenth of a mile) to 16 furlongs (two miles) with their precise metric equivalents.

Prize money

In horse racing, prize money is offered to the winner and other horses that finish in a given race. The size of the purse will vary depending on the type of race and track guidelines.

Typically, the first-placed horse will get around 60% to 70% of the total purse while the second-placed horse will receive 15% to 20%. The rest of the purse money is then split among the remaining horses.

The prize money is primarily made up of gambling and entry fees, although it can also be sourced from sponsorships, advertising, and media rights. In the UK, some of the money added to a race purse comes from a levy on bookmakers’ profits.

Photo finish

A photo finish is a way of determining the winner of a horse race. It involves a camera that is placed above the track in a booth and is focused on a four-inch slice of space.

The resulting image is then made available to the judges on site, and also sent through the internet for review by the British Horseracing Authority. Sometimes, it even proves useful in a dead heat.

Although photo-finish images are praised for being scientifically accurate, they are full of distortions that can be difficult to understand. For instance, if the film is calibrated to move faster than the subjects, parts of the image will be distorted and elongated.

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