Horse racing is an immensely popular global sport in which spectators wager on which horse will win a race. Bets may include Win, Place and Accumulator bets where multiple horses are backed to finish in the top three places. Betting industry in horse racing provides important revenue sources to owners, trainers and racecourses.
Thoroughbred horse races are among the world’s most celebrated races and involve vast sums of money as prizes are often worth hundreds of thousands to millions. Prize money in these events may range from hundreds of thousands to millions; with winners receiving the top prize. Most money collected is collected via bookmakers levying turnover or gross profits levies which then fund prize-money and improvements at racecourses through what’s known as a handicap levy set by British Horseracing Authority.
Louis XIV made gambling-based racing increasingly prevalent during his reign in France. To regulate it properly, rules were developed which established race distances and eligibility requirements for horses based on age, sex, birthplace and qualifications for riders; heats were then organized so a winner was decided in two races out of three heats.
Most horse racing is conducted on an oval dirt or turf surface, while steeplechases typically use fences in the shape of a U or W with one or more ditches on their approach side to create steeplechases. Trees line many tracks as natural barriers against horses running too fast on surfaces containing trees; jockeys ride these horses while holding onto its reins with whip in hand in order to achieve maximum speed and acceleration for their mounts.
Racing horses at high speeds results in numerous ailments for them, ranging from injuries and traumatized breakdowns to stress-induced pulmonary hemorrhages – when blood seeps into their lungs during exercise – which requires cocktail drugs like anabolic steroids to combat. As a result, racehorses often receive legal or illegal substances to mask injuries and boost performance; unfortunately this trend has resulted in many more horse deaths overall, as well as reduced numbers of races for older horses; although this trend is being reversed with increasing popularity of all-weather tracks where horses can train throughout the year on artificial surfaces.