The Real World of Horse Racing

Behind the romanticized facade of horse racing lies a world of drug abuse, injuries, and slaughter. The sport relies on horses to run at speeds that cause them pain, stress, and a host of injuries including pulmonary bleeding.

Bettors look at a horse’s coat in the walking ring before a race to see whether it’s bright, rippling with muscled excitement. That day, Mongolian Groom’s was.


Although it’s not clear how horse racing started, it is generally agreed that modern racehorses evolved during the 17th and 18th centuries. Fast Arabian stallions were imported and crossed with native English mares to create new lines of horses with speed, endurance, and a desire to compete.

These races grew in popularity, and betting on them soon became a common activity. By the 1800s, horse races were widespread throughout the country and a formal governing body was established. This led to increased purses and the development of more stable breeds. Those who oppose the horse race say that it can be disruptive and divisive if not managed well. It can lead to hallway gossip and handicapping that erodes performance. It can also distract people from their job responsibilities until the winner is known.


The rules of horse race vary depending on the type of race. Generally, prize money is awarded to horses finishing in a certain position, with higher-ranked horses receiving a larger share of the prize than lower-ranked ones. Prizes are also based on the total number of horses competing in the race.

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2021 establishes new federal regulations to combat tragedies on the track and medication scandals. It will create two standing committees and a new independent oversight agency.

The basic rules of horse racing are fairly simple, but you can bet in many different ways, including trifectas and superfectas (boxed or unboxed). You can even bet on a suit to “show” in the race. The player who bets on the suit that is flipped 8 times first wins!


Prize money in horse races continues to rise, with some of the sport’s richest events offering a bounty worthy of kings. The Saudi Cup, for instance, boasts a purse of $20 million.

Prize funds in horse racing are determined by various factors, including betting levy contributions from bookmakers and owner entry fees. The racetrack’s own pool of money also contributes to the total.

A win bet pays out if your selected Horse finishes first or second. A place bet pays out if your chosen Horse comes in third or fourth, but the payout is smaller than for a win bet. The odds on a race’s tote board can help you calculate your potential payout before placing the bet. However, the payouts are not revealed until after the race is over.


Horses injure themselves during races, but these injuries are often not immediately fatal. Some are minor, such as strained tendons, and can be cured with drugs. Others, like hairline fractures, are not so easily treated. When a horse’s injury is severe enough to affect its quality of life, the humane decision is to have it euthanized.

Tendons connect muscle to bone and are most commonly injured during racing. Injuries to the superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) and deep digital flexor tendon can be serious, take a long time to heal and recur frequently.

Long bone fractures, especially in the front limbs, are also common in racing horses. Surgical lag screw fixation allows horses to return to the track after recovery. Catastrophic musculoskeletal injuries, which are the most common type of injury that ends a racehorse’s career, are less common.


While a horse race may be an effective method for choosing a CEO, it can have detrimental repercussions deeper in the company. Depending on how the competition is handled, it can leave strong leaders deeper in the organization who have aligned themselves with an unsuccessful candidate feeling alienated and demoralized.

While stopgap, year-to-year appropriations language blocks slaughter plants in the United States, American horses continue to be sent abroad for consumption. For every thoroughbred euthanized due to racing injuries, dozens more are killed for meat in Canada and Mexico. Many horse owners are unaware their horses end up in the slaughter pipeline after they give away or sell their retired racehorses to people who promise them a good home. The federal Save America’s Forgotten Equines Act would permanently end horse slaughter in the United States and stop the export of racehorses to Mexico and Canada for consumption.