Is Horse Racing Dangerous? – The Dangers of Speeding Horses

Sports can be dangerous, as we all know. Think of Olympic disciplines such as gymnastics or luge and you will immediately know that they are dangerous. Sports like football, rugby, basketball, water polo, and all contact sports, to be exact, are dangerous because things might not go as planned and one slip and slide here and there and you are injured for the rest of your life.

What about horse racing? Speeding horses, jockeys holding on whilst they are pushing their horse to the limit. What could go wrong? Many things. Horse racing is a dangerous sport, and here is why.

Everything is Very Fast

When things go fast, there are little to no margins left for error. You must be perfect. But, if you are the only person executing the movements and racing, then things are not as dangerous as you might imagine. Time trial races are great, but horse racing involves at least 10 horses sprinting galloping along a track. If one of them trips and falls, there is a high likelihood that everybody else might trip and fall.

If you have ever watched cycling races, particularly Grand Tours, then you will know that one person falling can lead to a chain reaction.

Horse racing is similar, but bicycles are not living beings. Jockeys and horses can get fatally injured or even killed during a race gone bad.

Horse Racing Training Sessions Are Dangerous

Even when the horses are exercising and training for the races, things can go bad. Some race tracks are known for being bad for the horses, meaning that the frequency of injury is pretty high compared to others. If you can get hurt just by exercising, then your sport is very dangerous. This is, of course, true of other sports and disciplines, whether Olympic or things like parkour. Once again, horse racing is unique in this regard because the horses can get injured, as well as the jockeys. Even when not competing, one can get seriously injured. Remember one of the favored Superman actors, the late Christopher Reeve. His horse had a refusal prior to jumping over a fence and he fell headfirst onto a fence, shattering his first and second vertebrae, which left him paralyzed until the end of his life.

Not Everything is That Bad

Depending on the horse and the jockey, horse racing does not need to be as dangerous as it could be. Since people always look for ways to progress, horse racing is not an exclusion. There are ways of making training safer, for the horses and the jockeys. When it comes to the races, the horses that attend are about as trained as one can expect. 

However, no sport should be taken lightly, particularly when there is speed involved, which is why horse racing is a dangerous sport.

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