Important Horse Racing Terms that Every Beginner Should Know!

Important Horse Racing Terms that Every Beginner Should Know!

Racing

Important Horse Racing Terms that Every Beginner Should Know!

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Horse racing has existed ever since man started taming these fine beasts. Popularly known as the Sport for Kings, King James I began racing in the 17th century. 

Today, horse racing is a thrilling sport that has been recognized around the world. It is also the most-watched sport on TV in many countries. For most people, what brings excitement is watching the sports live.  

May 15, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Flavien Prat aboard Rombauer reacts after winning the 146th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Important Horse Racing Terms For Beginners

While you can become a pro in no time while watching horse racing on TVG, it is important to have some knowledge of the key terms used in this exciting sport:

  • Backside: It is the barn area where the horses live. It is usually on the opposite side of the track.
  • Colt: Colt is a male uncastrated horse aged four years old or younger. A colt older than four can be called an entire, a horse, or a stallion.
  • Derby: It’s the type of race in which horses only three years old can run. Both male and female horses take part in a derby.
  • Exercise rider: An exercise rider is a strong man or woman who takes the rider for their morning training every day. They prepare the horse to compete.
  • Filly and Foal: A female horse aged four or younger is a filly, while a foal is a horse younger than one.
  • Graded Race: A race of the highest quality. It refers to a group 1 race.
  • Handicapper: This person is an official whose duty is to access the previous performances of the horses and rate them.
  • In the money: It refers to the horses backing the top three positions in the race. 
  • Layoff: It is the period where the horse takes a break from racing. This varies between months and years. 
  • Nose: This is the shortest measurement of margin with which a horse can win. 
  • National Hunt: National hunt races are popular in Britain and Ireland, in which there are obstacles. The other type of race is the flat race.
  • Off the bridle: A term to describe a horse that is not performing well. 
  • Schooling: This is the duration of training of a horse with obstacles. It informs the person or the trainer about the fitness and training of the horse.
  • Sprinter: A horse who participates in a short distance, usually over six furlongs or less. 
  • Tack: Tack is a gear worn by the horse when it participates in a race. It includes a saddle and bridle. 
  • Undulating: This is a track that does not have flat terrain. For example, Cheltenham.
  • Whip: It’s an instrument used by trainers to tame and keep the horses under control.
  • Yearling: These are young horses between the age of one and two.

May 15, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Flavien Prat aboard Rombauer (6) leads the pack down the final stretch during the 146th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

If you are a beginner in the world of horse racing, these are some of the most important terms that will help you sound like an insider!

You can check more terms related to horse racing in a dedicated sports glossary. However, we have tried to cover the most important ones here. 

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