Why is Horse racing known as “Sport of Kings”
Horse racing is a sport that has been around for centuries. In Roman times, horses in chariots have been raced; even in mythology, horse racing exists as part of the gods’ entertainment. The first racetrack traced back to the year 1665 in Long Island and by 1868, organized racing has been founded. Horse racing went on to gain popularity until the Second World War. The sport has lost its status but not until the Triple Crown – a series of horse races – that had horses winning, bringing back the light on the equestrian sport.
One of the most popular forms of horse racing recognized throughout the world is the Thoroughbred racing. Harness racing is also a popular form around Australia, Canada and New Zealand. The different types of horse racing involves different breed of horses. For instance, Thoroughbreds are raced to cover moderate distances in fast paces, while the Standardbred in harness racing involves racing with a harness while trotting or pacing, instead of galloping with a saddle.
All Big Horses Start from Somewhere Small
Most people, when talking about horse racing, associate the sport with the likes of the Triple Crown – the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and Belmont Stakes – or the Breeder’s Cup. While this is the top races of North American racing, a horse will not be eligible to join in such competition unless it has started from a form of low-level competition. Big horses still have to work their way up in order to receive recognition. For instance, there is such a thing as the Maiden races where all horses or any sex and have not won a single race participate. Winning a race for the first time is termed as “breaking the maiden”. This is the most basic form of race, but any horse can win a race for the first time and not just in a maiden race – it can be in a higher level competition such as the prestigious Stakes Races. Stakes Races is the highest form of horse racing where all the big names and top racers compete with each other. The winnings in this type of race can be so high ranging from a few thousand dollars to even a million dollars.
Training a Horse for Racing
With proper training, a horse can be a good candidate for racing. A lot of people may not be confident about their training skills when it comes to conditioning a horse to race, but basic techniques apply for all disciplines of equestrian sport. Any horse can be trained to race but the most common breeds are Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses, and Arabian Horses.
The main goal when training a horse to race is to condition them. Naturally, horses have the ability to run distances but only short ones. Conditioning your horse involves building up its stamina so that it can run at greater distances in a short time. Your horse should be trained to have endurance and this starts from slow and consistent training. You can start by helping the lung capacity and the muscles develop through short gallops. As training progresses, the horse should be allowed to gallop further to allow him to get used to running great distances. Do not push your horse too hard –the key to training endurance and stamina is gradual consistency. Make sure your horse runs fast for a short distance and in the long run, you can lengthen this distance. Over time, your horse will be conditioned and it will understand that you need it to run faster.
Keeping Health in Check for Race Horses
Training a horse for racing is not an easy feat for both trainers and horses. It takes patience for the trainer to really get the horse to run at a desired pace and distance. Moreover, the horse must also be in good health condition in order to perform well. A horse that feels healthy inside is likely to give its all. Conversely, a horse that feels bad on the inside may not be cooperative during training. The training regimen itself can be daunting to a horse that it could be a cause for stress. When horses are under stress either from training, competition or traveling, digestive ulcers can develop. You don’t want a horse that’s cranky during training. For this reason, it helps to give omeprazole for horses to prevent acid build up that happens when a horse is under stress. Other factors that contribute to ulcers in horses include the feeding regimen, especially that of racehorses.
Racehorses are typically fed grain concentrates to make up for the lost energy during training. This can contribute to ulcers as feed concentrates leave the stomach quickly, and horses go hungry easily as opposed to their natural way of eating – slow and steady and frequent. To remedy this, Equine omperazole is usually given to prevent acid build up in the stomach, which is the reason why ulcers form.
A horse’s health is important especially for racehorses as they are the most hardworking horses that should always stay fit. Training your horse and keeping your horse healthy is key to the success of its career in horse racing.