When it comes to horse racing there is a lot of knowledge and understanding that goes into developing an expert understanding of the sport. From betting types to the lingo associated with the track and with race day, there’s certainly a lot to get your head around. Knowledge develops with time and experience, and there is always someone on hand from the horse racing and betting community to put you on the right track when you are looking to develop your knowledge.This guide that covers 10 unique facts you might not know about horse racing will not only make you look like a brainbox, but some of the the information may also help you as you review the previews for race meetings and go about building your winning strategy and empire.
1. All horse share the same birthday
Horses in the Northern hemisphere celebrate their birthday on the 1st of January, and those born in the Southern hemisphere are recorded as being born on the 1st August. Having the same birthday makes it easier for horses to be sorted, ranked and graded during their racing lives.
2. Horse racing isn’t quite as British as we all think
Horse racing certainly has a long history in Britain, and it has been a popular sport in the country for many centuries. However, it is a common misconception that horse racing was invented in Britain. It was actually invented in Asia way back – around 4500 BC, in fact – when members of nomadic tribes raced the horses they had bred for use in work and war.
3. Racing was once banned
During the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell ordered that all horses should be given over to the war effort. This meant that race horses were requisitioned by the state and all racing ceased.
4. Naming a horse is not easy
There are a whole host of conditions that must be met when it comes to naming a horse. For a start, the name offered to the official panel must be unique. A horse’s name cannot contain the name of a real person, cannot consist solely of numbers and cannot be an acronym. These are just a few rules from a long list that owners have to abide by as they name their horses and submit their entries for approval.
5. Early retirement
Given that horse racing is all about speed and power, it will not surprise you to learn that horses retire at a relatively early age. Most horses live for around 30 years, but most retire before they reach the ripe old age of 15.
6. Old timer
The oldest horse to win a race was aged 19.
7. Jockeys and ownership
Jockeys are not allowed to ride a horse they own.
8. Weigh in
On average, a race horse weighs around 1,000lbs.
Horse racing is one of the most popular sports with bettors, and in excess of £70 billion is bet on horse racing each year.
10. Big loser
Jockey Alfred Johnson once lost an amazing 14lbs in one day as he prepared to weigh in for a race.