Four Unique Horse Races Around the World
Four Unique Horse Races Around the World
Horse racing isn't like games online – it's an ancient sport that dates back over 6000 years to the nomadic tribesmen of Central Asia. The oldest forms of recorded history detail horse races from the hieroglyphics drawings of ancient Egypt to the writings of Greek philosophers and Roman historians. There were events for both mounted and chariot horse racing in the ancient Olympics.
When English knights returned from the Crusades they started to race the swift Arab steeds that they had acquired in the Middle East. The English started to import Arab stallions and slowly, horse racing became a professional sport.
The Jockey Club was formed to regulate English racing and their standards have set the rules for racecourses around the world. Most of the best-known races focus on thoroughbreds who trace their ancestry back to one of three 17th century sires.
Best Horse Races
Even if you're not a big horse racing fan you have probably heard about the world's most prestigious races which include the Preakness, the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes Those are races that are publicized widely to the racing and non-racing public.
If you want to go beyond the well-known racing events or find some unique races in different areas of the world, how do you find the BEST races? Experts have their own list of not-to-be-missed races. Some of them are well-known while others aren't widely recognised. They include:
Nakayama Grand Jump
One of the most enthralling steeplechase races in the world is the Nakayama Grand Jump. The stadium doesn't hold the tens of thousands of fans that you'd find at Belmont or the Kentucky Derby but it's a popular Japanese event that draws thousands of spectators.
Steeplechase races involve distance horse races in which the competing horses jump diverse ditch and fence obstacles as they compete to see which horse will finish the track first. Steeplechasing is most popular in Ireland, the UK, the U.S., Canada, Australia, France and Australia. It is gaining in popularity in Japan where the Nakayama Grand Jump dominates the steeplechase scene.
Thoroughbreds aged 4 years and older can compete in a steeplechase race. The Nakayama Grand Jump offers a purse that's worth over $1.5 million dollars, making it one of the richest steeplechase races in the world.
There's a second Japanese steeplechase race as well called the Nakayama Daishogai. The dirt path for both races is twisted and includes jumps, inclines and declines.
The Nakayama Grand Jump doesn't draw a large international crowd but it's still one of the most engaging horse racing competitions in the world.
The Kingfisher Ultra Indian Derby, also known as the Indian Derby, is an annual event in Mumbai. It's a 2,400-metre race that includes India's best thoroughbreds. The excitement of the Indian Derby isn't as much the horse race as it is the atmosphere – the Indian Derby is the Royal Ascot of the East with attendees arriving in top hats, high heels, formal dresses, bow ties, sharp suits, pocket squares and sun apparel. The fashion extravaganza turns the decades-old race into an historical event of epic proportions.
The race is generally run during the first weekend of February and involves a carnival atmosphere of races and entertainment. The prize is determined by the number of sponsors – the winner's purse can reach over a quarter of a million dollars.
Hipodromo de Monterrico
If you're in Peru, check out the Hipodromo de Monterrico. This thoroughbred horse race has been running annually since 1960 in Lima. The course consists of a one and one-eighth mile dirt track and includes a one-mile inside track for turf racing.
There are 4 Group One races that comprise the Peruvian Quadruple Crown and are run at the Hipodromo de Monterrico. Plans for expansion involve a purebred Arabian horse race which would involve Arabians. The expansion is being promoted by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the deputy ruler and finance minister of Dubai, who supports Arabian racing worldwide.
Champions Day Hong Kong
The Hong Kong Jockeys Club runs the annual Champions Day Race which include three international G1 races –Champions Mile, Chairman’s Sprint Prize and the Audemars Piguet QEII Cup. The races are staged on the same track and attract the local social set along with racing enthusiasts of all kinds from across the globe.