Horse Racing 101
What Makes Thoroughbred Horses The Prized Possession of Racehorse Owners
The glamour and glitz of horse-racing owe a lot to the Thoroughbreds that can light up any racing track. The most prominent events of horseracing that feature among the races covered by TVG.com are an affair that is the exclusive domain of Thoroughbred horses known for their athleticism, speed, and strength. There can be nothing more pleasing than watching Thoroughbred horses in full flow that sets the adrenalin gushing. There should not be any doubt that had it not been for the Thoroughbreds; horse-racing would never have been so popular.
Historically, equestrian sports not only provided entertainment for people but also helped to hone the skills in horse riding and horsemanship that eventually aided them during warfare. In its early stages, horseracing was the result of impromptu competition between riders who wanted to demonstrate their skills in riding. Gradually, it took the shape of an organized sporting activity with rules and regulations that necessitated the development of specialized equipment for the sport besides focusing on particular horse breeds that excelled in the discipline. Thus, the Thoroughbreds came into prominence and even today hold the center stage in prestigious horseracing events.
England – the home of Thoroughbreds
Aptly named the English running horse, Thoroughbred horses originated in England many centuries ago and were the first horses that became pedigreed. The fact that we now see Thoroughbreds in other countries is the result of export of the breed from England. Thoroughbreds are hybrid of imported Arabian and Turkish stallions with existing mares of English lines. Considered the fastest among horses, it can cover a distance of a mile (1.6 km) at a speed of 64 km an hour. An average Thoroughbred weighs about 500 kg (1100 lbs) with a height of 160 cm and remarkable for its leggy appearance. Regardless of its base color, you are sure to find some white marks on it.
All Thoroughbreds have the same birthday
There is something extraordinary about Thoroughbreds. Unlike other species, Thoroughbreds across the Northern hemisphere have a shared birthday on January 1 while those in the Southern hemisphere consider August 1 as the birthday of Thoroughbreds. Organizations responsible for regulating the bloodline of the breed created the rule as it becomes easy to keep track of the blood lines. Thoroughbred colts and fillies (male and female horses under five years) qualify for races only after they attain the age of two years.
The value of Thoroughbreds
Pedigree and age are the dominating factors that determine the value of Thoroughbreds although there are some other factors too. How a horse performs in races also influences its value. High performers are valued more. After successful Thoroughbreds retire from racing, it still finds enough worth because the owner would like to lease it or sell it for use in breeding. The selling channel for Thoroughbreds is usually through public auction or private sale after negotiations after which it goes to the racehorse trainer who makes it fit for races.
Thoroughbreds that participate in races earn a professional name that becomes its identity in racing circles.