The Sport of Kings
Any sport with horses always supplies it own brand of magic. There are many sports that involve these beautiful animals. Most equestrian sports are those that have a rider sitting on the horse’s back, but there are also some sports that have the horse alone doing some activity.
Horses are trained and ridden for practical working purposes, as well as taking part in equestrian sports. They are used in police work or for controlling herd animals on a ranch. The competitive sports that involve horses are rodeo riding, polo, horse racing, and the events such as dressage, show jumping and eventing. There are also some popular forms of competition such as horse shows, where horses perform in a variety of disciplines. Many people use horses for trail riding and hacking. There are horse trails in every country that are accessible to the public.
Many parks, ranches and public stables offer both guided and independent riding. Horses also take part in many therapeutic activities such as par equestrian riding, which is non competitive and helps to improve human health. Sometimes equestrian activities involve pulling carriages, riding in ceremonies, and even in some parts of the world, in farming. Mostly, though, when people think of equestrian events they think of horse racing, or the smart Olympic equestrian events.
Equestrian events at the Olympics
Equestrian events made its debut at the summer Olympics in 1900 in Paris, and apart from its disappearance until 1912, it has appeared in every Olympic Games ever since. The current Olympic equestrian disciplines are Dressage, Eventing and Jumping. In each discipline both individual and team medals are awarded. Women and men com pete on equal terms. The Equestrian events at the Olympics are the only event that involve animals. The horse is considered as much an athlete as the rider.
Horse racing, however, is another discipline altogether, and there are hundreds of horse races all over the world taking place every day. It is probably the most ancient of sports, and its basic premise, which is to identify which of the horses is the fastest over a set distance, has remained unchanged since the very first race took place..Horse races vary widely from country to country. Some of the variations are running over obstacles, running over different distances and with horses of different ages.
Major Part of Horse Racing is Thrill of Gambling
While horses are sometimes raced purely for sport, a major part of the interest in horse racing, and its economic importance, lies in the gambling always associated with horse racing, an activity that generates a worldwide market worth millions. With the number of horse racing events scattered through the year it is easy to see why the love of the tracks has persisted. Now with online betting becoming more simple and easy to take part in, betting has flourished and grown into a passion. On top of this the winnings are often so huge that the thrill of the bet becomes almost overpowering.
There are of course many different bets that it is possible to make on each race. Of all the bets available the favourites are the place, win and each way. These translate to a top three finish, a first place position, and either of the two respectively. These bets are accompanies by huge winnings. The beauty of the horses, the thrill of the wagering for high stakes, are all part of what makes horse racing so irresistible.