The Different Forms of Horse Racing

horse race

Traditionally, horse racing involves two or more horses ridden by jockeys who ride the horses over a set distance to compete. However, equestrian sports have evolved over the centuries to include other forms such as harness racing and flat racing.


During the late 18th century, steeplechase races started to appear in England and Ireland. These races were held over open country and were marked by church steeples. Originally, these races were arranged to coincide with local festivals and to promote financial benefits to hotel owners.

Today, steeplechase is a popular sport in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and France. It also appears in the Olympic Games. Steeplechases are run on courses that are a minimum of two and a half miles in length and include obstacles such as water jumps and plain fences.

Flat racing

Basically, flat racing is a form of horse racing in which horses compete over a flat surface. The type of surface that is used varies from region to region, but the most common surfaces are dirt and turf. Some tracks also use synthetic surfaces.

Traditionally, Flat racing was an activity that took place during the summer season. However, in recent years, all-weather racing has become the norm, and flat racing has become a year-round sport. Most of the top races are held on synthetic surfaces, but most of the year-round flat races are on dirt or turf.

Harness racing

Whether you’re a horse enthusiast or just enjoy seeing some of the fastest horses in the world, harness racing is a thrilling sport. It features a variety of tracks across the continent. Some of the top North American tracks include Mohawk Raceway, Yonkers Raceway and Freehold Raceway.

Harness racing is a speed sport where horses race on an oval track. The horse pulls a two-wheeled cart called a sulky or spider. The cart has a light and is driven by a jockey.

Endurance riding

Originally designed as a military test for cavalry mounts, endurance riding is a sport in which a horse and rider go over a long distance. The distance can range from 80 to 480 kilometers.

Originally held in Europe and Asia, the first endurance competitions were held in the 19th century. Today, the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) is the official national governing body for endurance riding in North America. AERC sanctions more than 700 rides a year. You can learn more about endurance riding on the AERC website. It also has a database of lifetime mileage records and rider awards.

Ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine sports

During the Byzantine era, sports were enjoyed by the people of the Empire. Chariot racing was one of the most popular sports.

Chariot racing was influenced by both Greek and Roman traditions. During the early Byzantine era, these races were conducted in the Alexandrian Circus, where spectators exhibited extreme partisanship for individual charioteers.

After the fall of Rome, fighting sports were abandoned by the Byzantine Empire. The empire did not discourage the practice of these sports, but it discouraged the transmission of these sports.