What is a Horse Race?

horse race

A horse race is a competitive race between horses that usually lasts anywhere from a few hundred yards to several miles. It is conducted by jockeys who ride on the backs of horses and try to guide their mounts along a course that is marked out in a straight line. The horse that crosses the finish line first is deemed the winner of the race.

The first step in running a horse race is to prepare the horses for the event. During the pre-race preparation period, the horses are placed in stalls or behind starting gates. After the horses are ready, the gates open and the race begins.

During the race, jockeys ride their mounts over the course of the race track and over any hurdles or fences that may be incorporated into the racing distance. Once the horses have completed the course, a judge posts the finishing order, and the first horse to cross the finish line wins.


A term used at the start that refers to a horse that breaks MUCH quicker than the rest of the field. There should not be more than a few horses that break this way in the same race.

This term is often interchangeable with BROKED SLOWLY, but should be used only when a horse breaks MUCH quicker than the rest of the race field. It is also useful to note when a horse breaks MUCH quicker than he should have to get away.


When a horse races erratically, he runs in and out, in and out, etc. This can be a sign that the horse is suffering some kind of physical problem, such as being injured or having an infection. It can also be a sign that the horse is not fully trained, and therefore is not yet in the best possible condition to run in a race.


When horses are well placed in a race, they have the potential to be strong factors. They will race forwardly during the early stages of the race, but then slow down and conserve their energy for the end of the race known as the home stretch.

In many instances, these horses will not be able to overtake the leaders and finish evenly. However, in other cases they will be able to overtake the leaders and win the race.


A term used at the start to refer to a horse that has the best of intentions, but has some sort of problem that compromises his position. Usually this is a bad break in the air, but it can also be a horse that has a bad run, such as being bumped or steadied. This term is not as helpful as BROKE SHARPLY, but should still be noted at the start when a horse has a bad break in the air.


A condition when a horse has trouble finding his stride, usually because of traffic issues at the start of a race. It can be a short incident, or one that is more serious.