Answers to Horse Racing Questions You Were Too Afraid to Ask

How much do you actually know about horse racing itself? If you’re new to the sport, or have just been sitting on certain questions you feel awkward about asking, I’ve got some answers right here.

If you’re a fan of horse racing betting, knowing as much as you can about the whole process will only see your payouts increasing, so let’s get started!

Are Racehorses’ Tongues Tied? Why?

Yes, they are. This is because sometimes, in the heat of the contest, the horses will move their tongues back and forth, which occasionally results in air getting sucked back into their passageways and choking them.

Are Some Bits Banned? What About Horseshoes?

Bits are mouthpieces that attach to the horse’s bridle, allowing the rider to control the animal. Like horses, bits come in all different shapes and sizes. Horses don’t all respond well to bits, and safety when using these is the main concern, since the bits can hurt the animal if too much force is used.

There are specifications for shoes, like if the horses will be racing on a turf or dirt track. The shoes that are allowed on both these surfaces are there for the safety of the horse and the racetrack, since they don’t want shoes that will harm the animal.

How Often Do Horses and Jockeys Get Tested for Drugs?

There is random checking in place for the horses taking part in every race, and the Top Three finishers in each race have to go the Test Barn. Here blood and urine samples are taken from the horses, which are then sent off to a laboratory for testing.

Riders get tested according to where they are located, and it’s quite a random process. Some racetracks take all the jockeys riding on a particular day, write the names down on pieces of paper, put these in a hat, and then randomly pull out a couple of names.

Those jockeys would then be tested, and there are serious penalties in place if you get a positive result. Certain tracks have jockeys blowing in breathalyzers before they can participate, too.

Do Jockeys Typically Train and Bond Long-Term with Their Horses? Or do they switch animals so regularly that they do not typically have a special horse or two that they race with all the time?

Jockeys, for the most part, are freelancers, or independent contractors. For a period of time they may cultivate relationships with certain trainers, and then ride for those particular owners. There are cases, however, where jockeys have never seen the horse before they’re getting into the saddle on race day!

How Much Time Do Horses Need Between Races?

There is no broad answer to this, since the animals are all different, and will have distinct requirements. It comes down to how well the trainer and his staff know the horse in question: if you’re paying attention, you’ll know exactly what the animal needs. And, if you give it to him, he will reward you with his best efforts, every single time!