All about Horse Racing

Horse racing the practice of running horses at speed, over a set distance for sport. There are different types of horse races but the gist of it is that a rider trained to race a horse through a track does so and the first do finish wins. The nature of the horse race can change the distance, whether there are obstacles in the way, the equipment used, and the breeds of horses allowed. Horse racing is one of the oldest sports in the world and has been practiced since the ancient times, with records of it being present at the Greek Olympic Games over two thousand years ago and is still present in today’s Olympic Games all these years later. It is also a popular betting sport where people wager on the horse and rider, they think is likely to win.

Modern Horse Races

In the modern times, horse racing can be seen in several countries, in popular international sporting events such as the Olympics, and as a gambling sport where participants bet on the outcome. The different types of horse races commonly seen are – Flat races where horses gallop directly between two points or around a track, jump racing where horses race and must jump over obstacles in the track, harness racing where the rider is placed on a chariot-like cart known as a sulky which is fixed to the horse by a harness as opposed to simply saddling the horse, and endurance racing where horses travel extreme distances (well over 100 km). Present day horse races receive wide coverage and may be televised. Riders undergo training for years before competing and make use of various horse supplies to make the sport safe for boththe rider as well as the horse.

Technological advances have significantly influenced the horse racing industry, with medical equipment such as X-Rays, Thermal imaging and MRI scanners being able to detect health issues in horses much earlier and treat them accordingly as well as detect occurrences of fraud. The information age and its connectivity has also made betting industry even more lucrative, by offering the patrons the ability to bet online and view results in real time, leading to increased participation and volume.

Criticism

Horse racing receives its fair share of criticism due to the nature of the sport, of using an animal for entertainment purposes. Horse racing is viewed as exploitative and unhealthy for horses. Horses participating in races are often bred and trained for the express purpose, which may mean that they are not necessarily treated well. Racing is also extremely dangerous to horses as they are quite fragile. A broken leg may spell death for a horse, not to mention the immense pain it causes them.

The exploitative nature of the horse betting industry is also apparent, as it feeds on and encourages an unhealthy habit. There are cases of people losing their entire life savings and being unable to hold any material wealth due to their dangerous addiction to gambling, exacerbated by the easily accessible horse betting industry.

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