Gambling News

A Roundup of Research on Horse Race Coverage

When journalists focus on who’s winning and losing instead of policy issues — what’s known as horse race coverage — voters, candidates and the news industry itself suffer, a growing body of research suggests. This updated roundup highlights multiple studies on the topic.

A horse race is a sporting event in which horses are ridden and guided to win by jockeys (also called riders) who have been specially trained to handle them. The sport is popular worldwide and has been around for thousands of years. In the United States, it is a multibillion-dollar business that includes both betting on the outcome of a particular race and ownership of horses.

The first horse races were a form of entertainment for the elites in ancient Greece, where riders competed in both four-hitch chariot and mounted (bareback) races. From there, organized racing developed in China, Persia, Arabia and other countries where horsemanship became highly advanced. During the reign of Louis XIV, racing grew into a for-profit enterprise that included the exploitation of young running horses who were offered for sale to bettors.

Santa Anita managers and Breeders’ Cup officials were eager to tell anyone who would listen that their first concern was the safety of their “equine athletes.” They flooded the track with veterinarians and expensive imaging equipment, screening for preexisting conditions and repeatedly testing for banned drugs. During morning workouts, veterinarians used binoculars to watch the horses’ every move.

A horse’s performance in a race can be affected by a variety of factors, including its physical fitness, the weather, its competition level and the quality of its training. For these reasons, it is important for owners and trainers to keep a close eye on the horses they own. They should regularly assess the horse’s condition and monitor its progress as it prepares to race.

There are many types of horse races, from simple wagering on which horse will cross the finish line first to complex accumulator bets involving several different horses. In addition, there are exotic bets such as the part wheel. A part wheel is a type of parlay bet in which multiple bets are made on different horses in one race.

The horse race industry relies on donations from racing fans and gamblers. These donations are essential for the survival of a for-profit enterprise that continues to exploit young horses and leave them vulnerable to death and severe injury. But these donations do not cancel out participation in the ongoing, deadly, exploitation of horses like Eight Belles, Medina Spirit and thousands more. All these horses deserve a better future than they were given. And so do their descendants, who will be the next generation of runners.