Horse Racing Categories & Classification

If you are into the entertainment sports than you should definitely be aware of the horse racing as it is one of the oldest and most celebrated entertainment sports all around the world. Although horse racing began in the 11th century and is developed and shaped by the royals, this sports is still the most enthusiastic one among the common people.

People from all around the world participate in the national horse races organized by the government and private parties and bettors from various states also put stakes on the horses making it even more interesting. If you are also one of the enthusiast, like me, you would definitely want to know more about the categories and classification of horse racing.

Horse Racing Categories:

The basic purpose of horse racing is to find out the fastest horse among the lot and in order to make the game even more interesting, stakes are placed on the horses which creates teams of various horses. Based on the types of race and the purse (prize) of the race, horse racing is categorized into the following three types:

  • Horse Racing Category 1: Flat Racing

All around the world, horse racing is run with three variations and flat racing is the most popular of all. In flat racing, the horses run on the flat surfaces which may be dirt or turf for a predetermined distance which is usually around 5 furlongs to 2 miles 6 furlongs. The season of flat racing starts in the March and goes straight to November with different qualities of racing. The youngest horse that may run a flat race is of 2 years old.

  • Horse Racing Category 2: All Weather

All weather racing is similar to the flat racing however these races are organize don an artificial ground and thus can be organized at any time of the year thus its name “all weather”. Most of the All Weather racing tracks are floodlit which means that the racing can also be held at night.

  • Horse Racing Category 3: National Hunt

In this category, horses run for longer distances which range from 1 mile 6 furlongs to 4 miles 4 furlongs at the least. Further classification of this type includes Bumper races and chases.

Horse Racing Classification:

Every category of racing has different types of contestants based on the experience and the ability of horses. The races are usually classified by an official rating bracket or by an age group. Maiden races, handicaps, nursery races, non-handicaps, etc. are the classification of horse races.


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