Rules of Horse Racing | How it is Played?

Horse racing is one of the richest sports in the world that involves two or more horses ridden by riders (or sometimes without riders) over a set distance, for competition. Horsing racing is one of the ancient sports which was popular among kings and rich rulers across the globe.

Rules of Horse Racing

Besides being a race among horses, it used to be a battle between egos of people betting on a particular horse or their nourish horses.

Object of Horse Racing

The object of the game is very simple i.e. to beat all the horses competing in the game. The one horse that reaches the finish line first or completes the lap first is declared winner.

In races, in which riders straddle over horses it becomes a combination of horse’s speed and rider’s control. The better the rider is able to control the horse the more likely it is going to find past its way between the hoard of horses.

How to Play?

Horse Racing involves individual participants with their own horses running on the course which can be flat or circular. Each of them tries to finish first in order to win the game. Participants line up together but there are no lanes to follow, Horses just have to keep running towards the finish line.

But of course, like all professional sports there are rules regarding Horse Racing which dictate from where the race will start, what happens if a player is caught intentionally losing the race and if shoving your opponent is allowed or not. Find out everything in the upcoming section.

General Rules of Horse Racing

The rules of horse racing vary from organisation to organisation because different national horse racing organisations have their own set of rules according to which they run horse races. The rules I’m going to mention here are taken from British Horse racing authority’s book.

  • Every horse race would start from the starting gate or stall.
  • False start would be declared if the horse runs away before the race.
  • Horse races involve a lot of money and competition. If the stewards feel the rider didn’t try to win the race, he can be disqualified for the rest of the tournament or there are more such sanctions for players intentionally losing a horse race.
  • You can’t hit/shove any racer during the race.
  • The race ends at the finish line. The first to reach it is declared winner.

Time Duration of Horse Racing

The time duration of a horse race depends on the distance to be covered by the horse. A horse can run 1/8th of a mile in 12 to 13 seconds. The race finishes when the last horse reaches the finish line.

Playing Equipment

The only equipment required for horse racing is Horse. Different organisations have their own set of rules on what kind of horses can be used for horse racing. Riders can wear helmets just in case they fall off the horse in order to prevent any head injury.

Horse whipping stick is a controversial rule, it is allowed in some countries while in some countries it is prohibited. This stick is used to make the horse run faster but to some countries it is against animal rights.

Types of Horse Races & Horse Racing Field

There are two types of horse racing and fields:

Flat Racing: Flat horse racing takes place on an oval-shaped track or straight strack without any hurdles in it.

Jump Racing: Jump racing takes place on a track filled with hurdles. Horses have to jump past these hurdles and get to the finish line to win the race.

Steward’s Role in Horse Racing

Steward’s role is to oversee horse racing events and ensure that all riders comply with the rules of the game. Moreover, it is Steward’s job to ensure that the race is being held according to the rules of the game.

Famous Horse Racing Tournaments

Here are the names of some of the biggest horse racing tournaments:

  • Japan Cup
  • The Everest
  • Sheema Classic
  • Melbourne Cup
  • Dubai World Cup

Famous Horse Racing Venues

Horse racing venues are unique and mesmerizing. Here are the names of a few of the best Horse racing venues in the world.

  • Albury Racing club, Albury, New South Wales
  • Armidale Jockey Club, Armidale, New South Wales
  • Ascot Racecourse, Perth, Western Australia
  • Bairnsdale Racecourse, Bairnsdale, Victoria
  • Hipódromo da Gávea, Rio de Janeiro
  • Hipódromo de Cidade Jardim, São Paulo
  • Hipodromo do Cristal, Porto Alegre
  • Century Downs Racetrack and Casino, Calgary
  • Evergreen Park, Grande Prairie
  • Century Mile, Edmonton

Governing Body

Though there are different national horse racing federations with their own set of rules guarding the game, the International Federation of Horse racing Authorities is recognized internationally for promoting the game.

It was founded to coordinate the promotion of Thoroughbred horse racing in the European and Mediterranean region, to bolster its prestige and protect its integrity.