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Horse racing has been a part of human civilization across the world since ancient times. Archaeological records show of horse racing occurring in Ancient Greece, Babylon, Syria, China, and many more. Chariot as well as horse back racing were part of the ancient Greek Olympics dating as far back as 648 BC. From the fifteen century up to the eighteen hundreds, horse and chariot racing were a huge industry. Horse racing was even called the “Sport of Kings” when it became very popular between British royalty and high society. Today horse racing is a thriving business that provides entertainment but it also preserves a tradition that might have been lost. This due to the fact that once horses were not used in combat, many of the riders abilities and skills would have been lost. In our modern days horse racing goes hand in hand with the gaming industry. Events such as the Triple Crown gather thousands of fans all around the world. From crazy hat fashions at the Kentucky Derby to the comfort of your laptop at home.

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Major events and types of horse racing.

There are four major types of horse racing which are: Flat racing, Jump racing, Harness racing and Endurance racing.

Flat racing is a horse race from point A to point B on a straight or oval course. There are many major races around the world in this category such as the Kentucky Derby, Japan Cup, Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Dubai World Cup and many more. Kentucky Derby is part of what is known as the Triple Crown. The Triple Crown is a three part event composed of three races in three different venues throughout the year . A favorite for any bookmaker since they are always big weekends in regards to gambling activity.

Jump racing which is very popular in the United Kingdom, sees horse racing over obstacles. Two major types of jump racing branch out of it, Hurdles and Steeplechases. Hurdles as the name call it sees the horses jumping hurdles while on Steeplechases they jump a wide variety of obstacles such as fences, open ditches and water. Also called National Hunt racing some of the major National Hunt festivals include the Grand National at Aintree, Cheltenham Gold Cup, Hennessy Gold Cup and King George VI Chase, run at Kempton Park on December 26. Not a favorite for big bookmakers and gambling in general.

For Harness racing horses no longer pull chariots as we’ve seen on the old movies, they now use a “sulky” which is a lightweight two-wheeled, single-seat cart. Merriam-Webster defines gait as: a particular way of walking, and harness racing is conducted in two differing gaits – trotting and pacing. Europe sees the most amount of trotter races around the world while countries such as USA, Canada and Australia among others favor the pacer type. Major events include Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Trotters and the Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Pacers. These events are highly followed by gamblers all around.

Finally with have Endurance racing which sees horse and jockey travel long distances even crossing countries. Different to the other categories, endurance racing competitions are recognized by the International Federation for Equestrian Sports.  Rarely does a leg of an endurance race go over 160 km but rules for this type of race vary widely from one event to another. Any breed of horses can compete in an endurance race but it’s the Arabian breed that excels due to its stamina and endurance abilities.  The Tevis Cup takes riders and horses 100 miles from Lake Tahoe through the Sierra Nevada Range up to Auburn. It is widely recognized as the toughest endurance race due to its high altitude, severe terrain and low temperatures.

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