Those who know little about horse racing, might find all the competitions strangely similar and fail to see the differences between these events. On the other hand those who wager on a regular basis, know that different horse races are available and the winners are decided based on different rules.
The most important competitions are briefly explained below, so punters can make an educated decision.
Horse racing trotting events
The general rules for these races are straightforward, as the horses need to trot rather than gallop and those who fail to do so, will be disqualified. The harnessed trot is a special race, in which the jockey doesn’t sit on the horse but rather in a cart that goes by the name of sulky. The car-start have the particularity of having the horse is starting behind a car, just as the name suggests and the vehicle slowly accelerates, allowing the animals to do so as well.
The about-turn is special for many reasons, being favorite among French punters and the horses start the race at right angles to the track. The starts are slightly slower and technique is very important, with the race beginning once the horse is aligned and ready to run. The mounted trot is a variety of horse racing that is common to French and Belgium fans of the genre, with the jockey sitting on the horse.
In all the aforementioned events, the winner is the horse and jockey that cross the finish line first.
Horse racing gallop events
Unlike trotting events, these races allow the horses to engage in gallop, which makes them action-packed and fast-paced. The flat race is the most popular one and the horses run between 900 m and 4 km and a handicap system is in place to guarantee fair races. Based on their previous performance, the horses will have to carry an additional weight, which ranges between 50 and 62 pounds.
Obstacle races are a special breed of Gallup events, with the horses being not only expected to run fast but also overcome obstacles. In this category, there are three different types of events, with the hurdling ranging between 3 and 4 km and the obstacles consist in bushes. Steeplechase are slightly longer, up to 4.4 km and involve more difficult obstacles, while the Cross-country is the most challenging race and the horses run between five and 7 km.
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