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Horse racing - competitions

 

 

US Important races

The traditional high point of US horse racing is the Kentucky Derby, held on the first Saturday of May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Together, the Derby; the Preakness Stakes, held two weeks later at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland; and the Belmont Stakes, held three weeks after the Preakness at Belmont Park on Long Island, form the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing for three-year-olds. They are all held early in the year, throughout May and the beginning of June. In recent years the Breeders' Cup races, run at the end of the year, have challenged the Triple Crown events as determiners of the three-year-old Champion. The Breeders' Cup is held at a different track every year; the 2010 and 2011 editions were held at Churchill Downs, and the 2012 edition will be at Santa Anita Park. It also has an important effect on the selection of other annual champions. The corresponding Standardbred event is the Breeders' Crown. There are also a Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Pacers and a Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Trotters, as well as an Arabian Triple Crown consisting of Drinkers of the Wind Derby in California, the Texas Six Shooter Stakes, and the Bob Magness Derby in Delaware.Thoroughbred and Arabian fillies have their own "Triple" series, commonly referred to as The Triple Tiara. While there is some disagreement over which three races make up the Triple Tiara of Thoroughbred Racing, the Arabian list is more formal and consists of Daughters of the Desert Oaks in California, the Texas Yellow Rose Stakes, and the Cre Run Oaks in Delaware.

 

Canada

The most famous horse from Canada is generally considered to be Northern Dancer, who after winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Queen's Plate in 1964 went on to become the most successful Thoroughbred sire of the 20th century; his two-minute-flat Derby was the fastest on record until Secretariat in 1973. The only challenger to his title of greatest Canadian horse would be his son Nijinsky II, who is the last horse to win the English Triple Crown. Woodbine Racetrack (1956) in Toronto, home of the Queen's Plate (1860), Canada's premier Thoroughbred stakes race, and the North America Cup (1984), Canada's premier Standardbred stakes race, is the only race track in North America which stages Thoroughbred and Standardbred (harness) meetings on the same day. The Pattison Canadian International has the largest purse of any Canadian horse race. Other key races include Woodbine Oaks (1956), Prince of Wales Stakes (1929) and Canadian Derby (1930).

 

France

France has a mature horse racing industry. The race with the largest international following is the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe held at Longchamp Racecourse, with a prize of 4 million Euro (approx US$5.2 million), making it the richest race in Europe and the second richest turf race in the world after the Japan Cup. It is run on the 1st Sunday in October. The Grand Prix de Paris is also held at Longchamp but is run in mid July. The other two French Classic Races are Prix du Jockey Club (the French Derby) and the Prix de Diane both held in June at Chantilly Racecourse.

 

Italy

The Palio di Siena (known locally as Il Palio), the most famous palio in Italy, is a horse race held twice each year on July 2 and August 16 in Siena, in which the horse and rider represent one of the seventeen Contrade, or city wards. A magnificent pageant precedes the race, which attracts visitors and spectators from around the world.

 

Great Britain

In Great Britain, there are races which involve obstacles (either hurdles or fences) called National Hunt racing and those which are unobstructed races over a given distance (flat racing). Many of the sport's greatest jockeys, most notably Sir Gordon Richards have been British. British racing has rules that stop the jockey using the whip too much, such as: they are not allowed to raise their whip over their shoulder so stopping them hitting the horse too hard.
Races are not referred to as Race 1, Race 2, etc., but by the starting time. For instance, the "1:35" or the "3:10". Each race may also have a name, which may include a sponsor's name, associated with it. The sport is regulated by the British Horseracing Authority. Note that the BHA's authority does not extend to Northern Ireland—racing in Ireland is governed on an All-Ireland basis.

 

Australia

Competitive endurance riding commenced in Australia in 1966, when the Tom Quilty Gold Cup was first held in the Hawkesbury district, near Sydney, New South Wales. The Quilty Cup is considered the National endurance ride and there are now over 100 endurance events contested across Australia, ranging in distances from 80 km to 400 km. The world's longest endurance ride is the Shahzada 400 km Memorial Test which is conducted over five days travelling 80 kilometres a day at St Albans on the Hawkesbury River, New South Wales. In all endurance events there are rigorous vet checks, conducted before, during and after the competition, in which the horses’ welfare is of the utmost concern.

 

Africa

 

Mauritius

Undeniably, racing is one of the most popular sports in Mauritius now attracting regular crowds of 20,000 people or more to the only racecourse of the island.
A high level of professionalism has been attained in the organisation of races over the last decades preserving the unique electrifying ambiance prevailing on race days at the Champ de Mars.
Champ de Mars has four classic events a year such as: Duchess of York Cup, Barbé Cup, Maiden Cup and the Duke of York Cup.
Most of the horses are imported from South Africa but some are also acquired from Australia, the United Kingdom and France.

 

South Africa

The national horse racing body is known as the National Horseracing Authority and was founded in 1882. The premier event, which attracts 50,000 people to Durban, is the Durban July Handicap, which has been run since 1897 at Greyville Racecourse. It is the largest and most prestigious event on the continent, with betting running into the hundreds of millions of Rands. Several July winners have gone on to win major international races, such as Colorado King, London News, and Ipi Tombe. However, the other notable major races are the Summer Cup, held at Turffontein Racecourse in Johannesburg, and The J & B Met, which is held at Kenilworth race track in Cape Town.

 

Japan

Japan conducts more than 21,000 horse races a year in one of three types: flat racing, jump racing (races over hurdles), and Ban'ei Racing (also called Draft Racing).
Japanese system of administration of racehorse is unique. Japan has two organization to administrate, control its horseracing. They are Japan Racing Association (JRA), and National Association of Racing (NAR).

 

The former, JRA manages Japanese main ten tracks. The horseracing is called "Chuo Keiba(meaning central horseracing)" . "Chuo Keiba" is one of the richest administrator in the world. As of 2010, a typical JRA maiden race for three year olds carries a purse of ¥9.55 million (about US$112,000), with ¥5 million (about US$59,000) paid to the winner. Purses for graded stakes races begin at ¥74.6 million (about US$882,000). Japan's top stakes races are run in the spring, autumn, and winter. The one of this country's most prominent race is the Grade 1 Japan Cup, a 2,400 m (about 1½ mile) invitational turf race run every November at Tokyo Racecourse for a purse of ¥476 million (about US$5.6 million), currently the richest turf race in the world. Other noted stakes races include the February Stakes, Takamatsunomiya Kinen, Yasuda Kinen, Takarazuka Kinen, Arima Kinen, and the Tenno Sho races run in the spring and fall. Especially, Arimakinen has a world sales record.The Satsuki Sho, Tokyo Yushun, and Kikuka Sho comprise the Japanese Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing.

 

Japan's top jump race is the Nakayama Grand Jump, run every April at Nakayama Racecourse. Instead of running over a large course as is the case in other countries, the course for the 4,250 m (about 2⅝ mile) Nakayama Grand Jump follows a twisted path on the inside portion of Nakayama's racing ovals. The race carries a purse of ¥142.5 million (about US$1.68 million).But in Japan, jump races is generally less popular than flat ones. More than one jump race is not held in a racecourse in single day. Every Japanese jump horses has experiences to run flat race. Usually, all of them is aim at success in flat race. When they retire flat race for some reason, they are trained for jump. In Japan, there are few horses bred only for jump race like Europe.

 

Source: www.en.wikipedia.org

 

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