Harness racing is a speed test that takes place between two or more horses. Horse racing is one of the oldest and most popular sports known, as well as being one of the most organized and commercialized.
Already in the Greek Olympics and in ancient Rome, this sport was enjoyed, although it was horse-drawn car racing. In these races, purebred horses mainly compete. After several studies, it has been concluded that all of today’s thoroughbreds are descended from three main Stallions: Byerly Turk, Darley Arabian, and Godolphin Barb, which were imported into Britain and subsequently crossed with strong English mares.
Thus they obtained the speed, strength, and endurance that characterize this race and make it suitable for racing competitions. Today, there are several types of sports: flat races, fence races, cross-country races, jogging, and harness races and match races.
The horse racing industry moves a lot of money around the world. In this world, the owners of the horses, the coach, and the rider or jockey are involved. The rapport between rider and horse is essential for the successful development of the race. Thus, most riders are of small build, about 48-50 kilos and 1.50 cm high. The physical condition of the jockey is as critical as that of the horse itself.
To match competitions, each animal is assigned a handicap. This is a weight based on your age, sex, rider experience, etc. Thus, lead bars are placed under the horse’s chair to compensate for the difference between the weight assigned and the actual weight. Each country has a different racing calendar and competition. Horse racing is controlled by judges and cameras that record the entire race.
Are you one of those who enjoy watching a horse run? Then probably you are of those who are hallucinating, enjoying as a small child with a lollipop, watching the racing of horses. And it’s just, the link that exists between the animal and its rider, the speed they reach, it’s something that makes you feel perfect.
So, if you want to know what the world’s most outstanding horse races are, in this article I’m going to tell you about the ones you can’t miss under any circumstances.
When did they start?
Horse racing, as we know it today, began to be a public spectacle in Ancient Greece, 2000 years ago. Due to the interest, they generated, they soon became part of the Olympic Games. From then on, it was when these animals became attracted to many people who wished to have them as a competitive animal, or as a companion or both.
What are the most important?
- Kentucky Derby
It’s the horse race par excellence. It is held every year on the first Saturday of May, at Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky. The first edition was in 1875. To this day, he leads the Triple Crown of thoroughbreds racing in the United States.
The animals run 1.25 miles (2.01 km), and the winner takes $ 2 million, a not inconsiderable amount, of course.
- The Prix de L’arc de Triomphe
It is the most prestigious racing event in Europe. It is celebrated on the first Sunday of October at the Longchamp racetrack in Paris, France. The first edition was in 1920, and compete for horses three years of age and older.
Animals run 1.5 miles (2.41 km), and the winner gets $ 5.5 million, an amount that was once $ 2 million. Thanks to the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club took over sponsorship, that number could be increased.
- The Breeders ‘ Cup Classic
Despite been held since 1984, it is the richest there is in the United States. It is held in late October or early November, each year at a different racetrack. The animals run 1.25 miles (2.01 km), and the winner gets $ 5 million.
- The Japan Cup
It is the most prestigious horse race in Japan. It is celebrated the last week of November at the Fuchu racetrack (Tokyo) since 1981. Animals run 1.49 miles (2.39 km), and the winner gets about 4.6 million dollars.
- Epsom Derby
It is also considered one of the most prestigious horse races. It is celebrated the first weekend of June of each year at Epsom Downs, Surrey, England, since 1779. Part of the Triple Crown of English, together with the 2000 Guineas Stakes and the St Leger Stakes.
- Grand Prix of Madrid
It is the most critical race in Spain. It is celebrated on the first Sunday of July at the racetrack of La Zarzuela, in Madrid, since 1919. Horses and mares of three years or more may participate.
If you have a chance to go to one, sure that you’ll have a damn good time.