5 Surprising Facts About Horse Racing Events

The most common horse racing in Australia is thoroughbred racing. It is also the main way in which Australia keeps its economy boosted because the racing industry also puts in a big chunk of its payment to the state.

In fact, Australia has more horse race tracks-almost 480-than any other country in the world. On average, 60 horse races go on somewhere in the country every day of the year with the exceptions of Good Friday and Christmas Day. However, Perth now holds a race on Good Friday.

Below are a few surprising facts about horse racing:

  1. Drongo

Few people know the actual reason behind calling the racehorses considered to be lost causes Drongos. Well, they often were a generation or two ago. It’s because there was a horse named Drongo in the 1920s who initially showed a lot of potentials. However, he failed to win any cups in his first 37 races. Even though Drongo didn’t seem to have much luck with using his stamina in the races, he was also known for having a kind heart. Drongo is most well-known for having come in second at the Victoria Derby three days before a Melbourne Cup. Yet at the latter, he finished in the middle. Drongo’s racing years were between 1923 and 1925. In spite of his losing streak, his owner, Dorothy Wood, the press, and other riders wouldn’t give up on him. Even Bobby Lewis, who won in four of his 33 Melbourne Cups rode Drongo several times.

  1. Rumours

There are often a lot of rumours that especially horses in the Melbourne Cup are still starved, overworked and treated cruelly. The rumours often say that the Drongos and others considered to be lost causes are slaughtered for their meat. However, the Victorian Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a real law and it states that anyone who does any of those things is guilty of animal cruelty.

  1. The Unbeaten

Another legend tells of a horse named Phar Lap in 1930. His story is the dead opposite of Drongos. In fact, he was considered to be unbeatable. No one knew the secret behind this until it was discovered that his heart weighed 6.5 kg. The average horses are 3.2 kg. Phar Lap’s heart is on display at the National Museum in Canberra. His skeleton is displayed at the Museum of New Zealand. He also earned his way into having a very large space in the Melbourne Museum dedicated to him. His winnings were a Melbourne Cup, an AJC Derby, two Cox Plates and almost 20 weight for age races. He also won an Agua Caliente Handicap in Tijuana. Then he passed on after a mysterious illness in 1932. Betting on horses is also one of the most popular pastimes in Australia. In fact, gambling on horses in Australia generates an average of $10,520.50 in Australian dollars.

  1. The Survey

A survey conducted by the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses found that an average of 18,000 horses is bred for racing in any given year. There are usually also some 31,000 other foals in training to go into racing at some point or another in their lives. However, when you think about it, this sort of high standard is what keeps the race tracks open, the betting going, and the country’s economy boosted. So if you’re a horse rancher in Australia, you will probably be helping to prepare at least some of your horses for racing at some point or another. And when at least one wins, you and your other riders’ incomes will likely be boosted.

  1. The Jockeys

In the Melbourne Cup, even preteens are allowed to race. So far, the youngest jockey to win the Melbourne was almost 13 years old. While there is not a lot of information on age restrictions for horse jockeys in Australia, there is plenty about women being allowed to be jockeys. Initially, women weren’t allowed to be professional jockeys at all, even at ladies only events. However, Wilhelmina Smith defied this in the mid-1900’s riding as Bill Smith. It was not until 1974 that women were finally permitted to be jockeys in the Victoria Racing Club but they were still limited to the ladies only events. The restrictions gradually lifted everywhere else into the late 1970s in Australia and New Zealand. Michelle Payne was the first to win the Melbourne in 2015.

Leave a Comment