Horse racing

Horse racing has a long history in many different cultures and geographical regions, and there are for instance evidence of horse racing taking place in ancient Egypt and Babylon. In ancient Greek, chariot racing as well as mounted horse racing was a part of the Olympics from at least 648 BC.

Today, there are three main types of horse racing: flat racing, steeplechasing and harness racing. In flat racing, the horse runs over a level track for a predetermined distance. In steeplechasing, the horse must jump obstacles such as fences and ditches and successfully traverse the countryside in which the race takes place. In harness racing, the horse race at a specific gait (tro or pace). Normally, the horse will be pulling a driver in a sulky, but racing under saddle do occur as well.

Betting at horse races

Betting is today an integral part of horse racing in virtually any country where horse racing is common. Estimates from 2008 show a world-wide betting market for horse racing worth about 115 billion USD per year.

At the race track, there will usually be a gambling station where punters can wager their money. There are however a few race tracks where betting is not permitted, such as the famous Colonial Cup Steeplechase in Camded, South Carolina, USA where betting on horse races has been illegal since 1951.

In jurisdictions where betting on horse races is legal, the race track will typically offer so called parimutuel betting. In some countries, including the UK, Ireland and Australia, there are also bookmakers offering odds for horse races.

Different types of horse racing bets