A horse race is a sport where horses are pitted against each other in competitive events. While some criticize the practice of horse racing, others view it as a pinnacle of achievement for both horses and their jockeys. The horse race is an ancient tradition, with numerous cultures having held races for the noble steeds. Many modern races are open to the public, with rules governing the eligibility of runners. Eligibility rules may be based on age, sex, birthplace, and previous performance. Races can also be designated as handicapped, in which each runner is assigned a specific amount of weight to carry for fairness.
While some people may find a thrill in watching the spectacle of a horse race, a great number of critics feel that it is inhumane and corrupt. Those that oppose the sport argue that horses are drugged, whipped, and raced too young, leading to injuries and a great deal of pain and stress on developing bones and ligaments. Additionally, the sport is fraught with illegal substances that are used to boost performance, causing even more damage to already injured horses.
Most critics of horse racing point to the fact that horses are forced to run at such high speeds. This causes a great deal of strain on their bones and joints, and can lead to fractures and other serious injuries. The horses are also often trained and raced on oval tracks, putting additional pressure on their lower legs. This can cause the bones in the lower legs to crack, and can also lead to severe lameness. Injuries in horse races are very common, and some horses are permanently crippled by these injuries.
Moreover, many horses are bred and raced solely for the sake of profits. This creates a huge competition between breeders, as each wants to produce the fastest and strongest horse. The breeding and racing industry is often dominated by large corporations, with the top-performing horses receiving massive amounts of money. This can lead to a culture of dishonesty and corruption, as owners will often falsify records in order to claim more winnings.
Horse races are often accompanied by a ruckus of noise and chaos. The jockeys yell and curse at their mounts as they try to jockey them around the track, and the crowds often sing and cheer. The yelling and screaming can be very intimidating for the horses, who are prey animals. Those that do not win often get beaten or slaughtered, with PETA estimating that ten thousand American thoroughbreds are killed each year.
In addition to the roar of the crowd, there is usually an enormous amount of activity behind the scenes to prepare the horses for the race. Many horses are bathed, fed, and groomed before the race, and some are put into stalls that are often very hot. This can cause discomfort and agitation for the horses, which can result in a breakdown or even death. This is why it is important to prepare horses for the race ahead of time.