Generally, a horse race involves two or more horses ridden by jockeys over a set distance for competition. These horse races are commonly held in stadiums and on race tracks.
The American Triple Crown
During the twentieth century, the American Triple Crown horse race was the most sought after achievement in the sport. It is awarded to a horse that wins three races in five weeks. It is a series of three Thoroughbred races held in May and early June each year.
The Triple Crown has been around since the late 1870s. However, it did not become popular until 1930. The Triple Crown is comprised of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Each race consists of a number of variables that make each a unique experience. Some of the variables include the jockey’s strategy, the distance the horse travels and the weather.
The Mongol Derby
Thousands of miles of Mongolian steppe await the riders of the Mongol Derby horse race. They will traverse 1000km of pristine green rolling hills and rugged terrain while travelling through intense storms. The race has been called the toughest horse race in the world. It is run by a company called The Equestrianists.
They have a team of 40+ people who monitor the health of the 1,500+ horses and riders and track them using satellite and GPS tracking systems. The company’s mission is to make the world more interesting and less boring.
The July 2022 Mongol Derby started off on a cool breeze on 23rd July. The race had 46 riders from 10 different countries. The front runners include Deirdre Griffith and Chris Walker. They have been holding off the pack for the most part, but Tiffany Atteberry and Patrick Heffron are closing in on them.
The King’s Plates
Originally, the King’s Plates in horse race were only for six-year-olds. They were standardized races and awarded prizes to the winning horses. They were equivalent to today’s Group One races. There were two races, one for mares and one for geldings.
During the reign of Edward VII, races were held during the summer months. The King’s Plates in horse race became more competitive in the 17th century, with more racing happening in Ireland.
The King’s Plates in horse race were also introduced by King Charles II. He reigned from 1660 to 1685. His reign coincided with the rise of the Jockey Club of Britain. During his reign, he arranged for Newmarket to be the center of English racing.
Fences used in horse races
Several types of fences are used in horse race tracks. They include steeplechase fences, hurdles and fences on both sides of the racing surface. The height and width of the fences can vary widely. Some are made of wood or wood board while others are simply woven or tied with wire knots.
The height of steeplechase fences is usually 4’6″, while hurdles are shorter. Fences have a sloping face and can rebound when struck. The fences at the Grand National Festival are now made of Sitka or Norway spruce. They are brought down from the Lake District.
Fences used at the Grand National Festival used to be made of natural thorn hedges. The fences have been modified over the past 30 years to ensure safety for the horses.