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Elges Bilder: Sven-Ulrik Schneider. Einen Kommentar schreiben Kommentar von Jamesscons What do you think about it? Kommentar von Freemanfaf Hey. Kommentar von ShawnHoump Hey. Horse racing is a sport in which horses compete to determine which is fastest—and for purse money; races are divided into those in which a rider sits on the horse's back and those in which the horse pulls a small buggy harness racing.

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Horses with riders are usually thoroughbreds, while those in harness racing are called standardbreds. Thoroughbred racing includes both flat and jump races; while flat races are held on dirt and grass courses, steeplechase and hurdle races are run on grass courses, and horses jump over a number of barriers set up on the course. Racing in Europe, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand is exclusively on grass courses, while racing in North and South America is on both dirt and grass courses.

The early history of horse racing is sketchy, with most attention devoted to England, beginning in the s. Records indicate that chariot racing and mounted races were a part of the ancient Olympic Games b. Racing was popular in the Middle East and North Africa; Europeans became familiar with these races during the Crusades eleventh to thirteenth centuries and brought many horses back to Europe. Charles II, who reigned from to , was known for his interest in racing and is credited with starting the King Plates, writing the rules for the races, and making Newmarket the center of English racing.

The settlers brought horses with them when they came to America; they had brought at least seven by and continued their interest in racing, usually match races between two horses over several four-mile heats. Racing was more popular in the South , and Virginia became the horse center in America. As Edward Hotaling noted: "Like flies to molasses, the whole South took to 'the races. They seemed an extension of the establishment's favorite fantasy, that life was a chivalric pageant out of medieval England, the obverse of the North's delusional, anti-English Puritanism" p.

By , the South had sixty-three racetracks; the Northeast had only six. The first North-South race was held in ; American Eclipse, the northern horse, beat Sir Henry in three four-mile heats. Other North-South races were held in , , and The Civil War devastated the horse business in the South; after , the racing world centered on New York.

The Kentucky Derby was started in , the Preakness in , and the Belmont in These three races were linked to form the Triple Crown series in Winning all three races at their varying distances—a mile and a quarter Derby , a mile and three-sixteenths Preakness , and a mile and one-half Belmont —within five weeks has been extremely difficult. As of , only eleven horses had won all three races in a single year, none since The Breeders ' Cup was started in and was marketed as the World Championship of horse racing. Historians trace all thoroughbreds to three stallions: the Darley Arabian, the Godolphin Barb, and the Byerly Turk, which were brought to England between and and bred to a number of English mares to replenish the declining English stock.

Stallions such as Medley , Shark , Messenger , and Diomed brought the thoroughbred line to America.

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The offspring of matings between the stallions and mares were recorded Stud Book to ensure the standard of the breeding and the quality of the horses. At the same time, while some acknowledge the presence of mixed breeds, doubting the claim of the "pure" thoroughbred, the Jockey Club controls what horses can run in American races: Only those registered with the Jockey Club as thoroughbreds are eligible. The rule for breeding has been "to breed the best with the best and hope for the best. When a well-bred horse wins, his pedigree is responsible, but when a lesser-bred horse is successful, it is often attributed to luck.

Moreover, when the decision is made to have the horse become a sire or broodmare, a horse's success on the track is often overlooked in favor of his breeding. Sunday Silence was then sold to Japanese owners, and he later became the leading sire in Japan. Easy Goer was kept in the United States.

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Moreover, Secretariat, whom many believe to be among the greatest American horses, winning the Triple Crown in , had an undistinguished career as a sire. Thirteen of the fifteen riders in the first Kentucky Derby were African Americans , and African American jockeys won fifteen of the first twenty-eight Derbies. Moreover, the winning trainers in the first three Derbies—, and —were African Americans, as were the winning trainers in , , and , the last year an African American schooled the winning horse.

The situation was different in the twentieth century, however; when Marion St. Julien rode Curule in the Kentucky Derby in , he was the first African American jockey to ride in the Derby in seventy-nine years. Since the presence of African American trainers has been spotty; there were two in and one each in , , , and , the last year in which an African American trained a Derby horse as of Eight African American owners have entered horses in the runnings of the Derby; the first and only winning owner was Dudley Allen, who entered Kingman in ; the most recent African American owned entry was in Another concern with breeding is the hardiness of the horse.

Many believe that the emphasis on breeding for speed rather than stamina, coupled with the increasing use of medications to "help" horses to perform on the track, has contributed to less sturdy stock. There is no national standard for drug use; each state has its own rules, and many suspect that the rules are too lax, contributing to abuse for the horses and to uncertainty among bettors.

Instead of breeding the best strongest to the best strongest , horses going to the breeding shed are often those who were kept on the racetrack by medicine. Horses no longer run as many races, they have longer rests between races, and they run shorter distances than their progenitors.

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By , most races ranged between three-fourths of a mile six furlongs and a mile and one-sixteenth; races of a mile and a quarter were considered problematical for most horses. Also relevant to the hardiness is the age at which horses begin racing. Historically, horses were at least five years old before racing; in England; the Kings Plates races were for six-year-olds.

However, horses now begin racing at two and often are no longer racing at six.


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The stress of racing is not beneficial to young horses, but the economics of the sport make two-year racing a necessity. In other words, horses need to "earn their keep. Historically, the rationale for racing was the "improvement of the breed," but many now question that outcome. In fact, some in the American Jockey Club acknowledge that their control of the Stud Book is more for integrity than for the improvement of the breed Case, p.

The horse business is composed of the owners, for both breeding and racing; the trainers, who prepare the horses for racing; the jockeys, who ride the horses; the tracks, which organize and hold the races; and the fans, who wager on the races. Added to the mix are state governments, which tax the money bet on each race.

Often, the motivations of each group are different, and these differences are one of the problems facing racing. Owners—and trainers—hope to win money by racing, but they also want to protect the reputation of their better horses for breeding; they usually pick and choose which races to enter, often avoiding any competition with rival horses until meeting in prestigious races such as the Kentucky Derby or the Breeders' Cup.

It is also common for a horse that wins the Kentucky Derby to be retired soon afterward, a way to protect the reputation of the horse for breeding. The tracks prosper by offering races with large purses for owners that will also attract spectators and bettors. Bettors prefer competitive races with many horses, that is, more betting options. Fans want to watch competitive races between horses they recognize or with whom they can identify. Racing on dirt in North America is necessary because racing is a year-round sport; owners know that their horses need to work race to defray the costs of their upkeep.

Daily racing on grass is not possible; racing in Europe and Australia, for example, moves from track to track, and a particular track may have only forty to fifty race days per year.

While racetracks in North America also have meets, and racing may move from track to track during the year, a meet will last for sixty to ninety consecutive days. Moreover, most racing is regulated by state organizations, which act independently and for their own interests; there is often little cooperation across state boundaries. In an attempt to provide some structure or consensus among horse-racing interests, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association NTRA was formed in ; however, the NTRA has little power to regulate racing and so far has only been a marketing group.

As of , certain groups were vying for control over racing by buying race tracks in several states. For example, Churchill Downs Inc. Races are organized by racing secretaries employed by race tracks to attract owners to enter their horses. While the public pays most attention to stakes races like the Kentucky Derby, the Arlington Million, and the Breeders' Cup, most races are claiming and allowance races.


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Following the race the person who bid for the horse becomes the new owner and must pay the claiming price set for that race. Allowance races are those with certain conditions for eligibility, such as the number of wins a horse has or the amount of money it has won in its lifetime or within a certain time period; horses in allowance races cannot be claimed. Young horses usually proceed through allowance conditions before entering stakes races.

On an average nine-race program there would be five claiming races, two allowance races, and two maiden races—races for horses who had never won a race. Maiden Special Weight races are for better horses, while Maiden Claiming races are for those unsuccessful at the higher level. Other races include handicap races, in which racing secretaries assign horses to carry varying amounts of weight in an effort to attract more horses and to make the race more competitive.

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For example, while all horses carry the same weight in the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders' Cup races, the Melbourne Cup, the most popular race in Australia, is a handicap race. Good horses will often not be entered in handicap races if the owner or trainer feels that the weights assigned to their horse will make it too difficult for it to win. Horse racing is known as the "sport of kings," a phrase coined in England around the time of Charles II and used to refer to those who have the means to own and race horses. At the same time, racing is often described as similar to boxing in that the sport brings all classes of people together.