What Goes On Behind The Scenes Of A Horse Race?

Horse racing is a sport in which riders mount horses to guide them over a set course, often jumping hurdles or fences (if present). Competing horses attempt to cross the finish line first. Winners are awarded a certain amount of prize money.

Before a race begins, horses are lined up in stalls or behind a starting gate. When the gate opens, the race starts and the horses begin running. The most prestigious races are called classics, and include the Preakness Stakes, Kentucky Derby, and Belmont Stakes in America. A horse can be retired from racing after a certain number of races or at the age of five, though some racehorses continue to run beyond this point.

A growing awareness of the dark side of horse racing has prompted improvements for the animals, but more needs to be done. A reorganization of the entire industry is needed, from breeding to implementing a more natural and humane lifestyle for all racehorses after retirement. This requires a serious ideological reckoning at the macro business and industry level, as well as within the minds of horsewomen and men.

Before each race, horses are bathed and groomed to look their best for the crowds. They are given a bridle and a saddle to wear, and their riders are outfitted with riding clothes in bright colors that distinguish the owners or jockeys. The stewards, or officials, carefully inspect each horse to make sure it is sound and ready to compete. If there is an issue, a horse may not be allowed to race.

After a horse completes a race, it is brought to the spit box, where it is tested for a variety of substances, including saliva, urine and blood. The spit box is also where horses are brought to if they are injured during the race.

Behind the romanticized facade of Thoroughbred horse racing is a world of injuries, drug abuse, gruesome breakdowns, and slaughter. Thousands of ex-racehorses hemorrhage into the slaughter pipeline every year, with just enough time to be “bailed” from Facebook posts and Twitter accounts before they are shipped off to Mexico and Canada for a life of unspeakable horrors.