A horse race is a competition between two or more horses, usually ridden by jockeys. Each horse will cover a specified distance in the hopes of winning the race. Horses can sustain various injuries while racing, including straining ligaments and joints. Some horses may also balk at the starting gate. The competition usually lasts a few minutes.
Modern horse racing began in the 18th Century
Modern horse racing has its roots in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The first races, such as the St. Leger, were run in England in 1776. In the following decades, other races like the Oaks and Derby were added.
There is no scoring in horse racing
One of the most popular sports in the world is horse racing, but you may not be aware of the fact that there is no scoring in the sport. Unlike football, where you are able to place bets and win money, there are no points awarded in horse races. The winner of the race is the first to cross the finish line. However, the races do have awards for the best looking horse and jockey.
Horses can strain ligaments, tendons, joints
When the horse is racing, the force that propels them forward causes strains in the tendons and ligaments. These injuries are common, but sometimes the damage is more severe. A horse’s tendons can be torn during launch, landing, and turns.
Horses balk at the starting gate
A horse’s tendency to balk at the starting gate of a horse race may be due to many factors. It could be due to a lack of confidence. A horse that is too nervous to run may balk and be dragged out of the gate. In addition, a horse that is overly excited or under duress may also balk. In these cases, the start of the race can be chaotic and dangerous.
Horses are whipped
In the horse race, racehorses are wildly whipped by jockeys on the home stretch, a practice that has caused controversy. The BHA says whipping is an “encouragement” technique that “activates” the horse and motivates it to race. Some argue that horses respond to the impact of the whip and the pain it causes, but scientific studies show a different explanation.
Horses have cracked leg bones and hooves
Broken leg bones and hooves are a common problem for horse racers. Broken bones may be simple, causing a short line of fracture in the middle of the bone, or they can be complicated, involving multiple planes of fracture. In both cases, the injury is painful enough to make a horse unable to put weight on the leg.
There is a ring of universal imprecations
The crowd at a horse race has a history of curses and chants. The Kentucky Derby is no exception. This working-class event is populated with people who are ready to curse the horses and cheer them on to victory. Often, the horses are whipped, drugged, or pushed to their physical limits. Many are also trained too young and killed by cruel and inhumane means.
Safety of horses at horse races
British horse racing has an excellent safety record and constantly invests in education and research to improve horse welfare. One of the latest projects has investigated the eyesight of horses. The study was conducted at the University of Exeter and was commissioned by the British Horseracing Authority. The aim of the project was to improve equine athletes’ vision so they can see obstacles clearly. This will help them to avoid falls and injuries.