Is horse racing considered a sport?
Sometimes called the sport of kings, horse racing receives checkered reviews. Opponents of the practice say that it is cruel to the animals and that the horses are the actual athletes. Proponents argue that it takes real skill to handle such powerful creatures and coax the best performance out of them.
Where Is the Sport?
Watching horses thunder along the track at full speed is thrilling. Having a wager at the outcome of the race at Goldenslot or with friends increases the excitement. Some argue that having a stake in the event is the sole reason that people view horse racing as a sport.
That's not entirely true, however. Even if you don't involve money, riding a horse requires skill. Jockeys must work with their animals to help them perform at their best. Winning a race means knowing how to set the correct pace and not tire the horse out before the finish.
Also, considering the size and power of these creatures, one must admire the skill it takes to control
them on the track.
Being a Jockey Requires Training
While some argue that the horse puts in all the effort, the jockey also plays a vital role. Riding in a race is very different from a slow canter along a country road. Jockeys also put in a tremendous physical effort to maintain the optimal position and use their bodies to guide their horses to victory.
Pair that with the skill of bearing down on and overtaking an opponent, and it's an adrenaline-filled task. One wrong move could easily mean disaster, so the jockey is a sportsperson in their own right.
The Horses Love to Run
Horses must exercise regularly to maintain their condition. Allowing them to run at full speed is exhilarating for them as well. Wild horses often run in packs to expend extra energy.
Whether or not the race track is a suitable environment is under debate. Wild horses don't contend with riders or the exciting atmosphere of race day. And yet, we train racehorses to deal with these circumstances.
For a thoroughbred groomed into racing, the environment at the track probably seems normal.
The counterargument is that racing is very cruel to the horses. It's no secret that some disreputable practices have crept into the game over the years. Some breeders and trainers do abuse their animals in the hopes of achieving better performance.
The vast majority, however, realize that treating their horses well is the best way to guarantee the results that they want. Regulations regarding the treatment of the animals are also stricter now than ever before.
As with any sport, there will be some who try to game the system. Some trainers drug their athletes, but the same is true in human sports as well.
Whichever side of the equation you fall on, it's hard to dismiss horse racing as a sporting pursuit. It has everything: pageantry, tradition, the jockeys' skill, and the animals' raw power.