When I was little, my dad used to take me to horse races. It always gave me a thrill because it felt like you were right in the middle of all that excitement and energy. Of course, now that I’m older (and wiser) I know that there’s much more going on than just horses racing around at breakneck speeds. There are jockeys who mount the horses before they race, or ‘canter,’ as well as an announcer who calls out the name of each horse every time it crosses over one of those white lines painted onto the track. But even so, when you’re standing up close to these beautiful animals – both literally and figuratively – you can’t help but get caught up in their pure animal magnet.
The origins of horse racing events
Horse racing is a very old sport with origins in the Ancient Greek period, with the historian Herodotus claiming that Phoenician sailors brought chariot racing, most likely horses, to Greece around 600 BC.
Shortly after its invention horse racing became popular with kings and aristocrats who were looking for ways to entertain themselves and their guests. This led to the beginning of horse racing as a commercial activity.
Horses are led onto the racetrack and the jockeys mount them. A professional starter then waves a yellow flag to begin the race, with riders going as fast as they can until they reach the finish line. A professional starter waves a yellow flag to begin the race, with riders going as fast as they can until they reach the finish line.
What to wear at the races
You will want to wear comfortable clothes because you’ll be standing for a long time. You can wear anything that’s not too high-maintenance or too dressy, but wear something nice enough because the people there tend to be dressed nicely. You will also want to wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. Oh yeah – and bring lots of money because the food at horse races is great!
Betting at the races
You can win big betting at horse races if you follow a few simple guidelines. You will want to know about the horses in the race (checking out a racing form will help), have an idea of how much you are willing to bet, and have money on hand. Horses are ranked according to different tiers, with most professional races being graded stakes or better. The higher the grade, the more reliable your information.
If you want to experience the thrill of horse racing, be prepared for all that goes into an event. But trust me, it’s worth the effort!