How Horse Racing Varies Around The World.

Horse racing has continued to grow in recent years, effectively modernising its ancient traditions into present-day sport. The simplicity of it allows horse racing to appeal to millions across the globe who are both spectating and competing – creating unforgettable moments worldwide. But within every country they have their own traditions and way things are done. We are going to have a look at how horse racing varies around the world?

UK and Ireland

The UK and Ireland are the home of modern day horse racing with all the modern day rules and regulations created here in the 18th and 19th centuries. The historic racecourses and intrinsic relationship with gambling has allowed horse racing to remain very popular throughout the UK and Ireland. This relationship with gambling is very strong in the UK, so much so, gambling companies are consistently promoting the sport – check out Free bets UK for all the latest UK horse racing promos.

The UK mainly sees flat and jump racing on turf. It plays host to some of the top races in the world such as the Grand National and the Epsom Derby, which are raced here every year and draw in millions of punters to the tracks annually. The latter is one of the most prestigious races in Europe.


The racing in mainland Europe doesn’t actually differ too much from that seen in the UK. Whilst some countries have their own specific quirks, there aren’t too many major differences across the continent. The main race in Europe, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, is held in France and is the second richest turf race in the world. Hungary has a strong history of breeding class horses whilst the Czech Republic has a high, 15 racecourses. Asides from this, it’s mainly turf racing with flat and jump racing – much like the UK.


The USA has the most variety in its horse racing type. Not only is the sport absolutely massive here allowing some of the biggest and most prestigious races such as the Kentucky Derby to be raced here, there are also key differences in the actual style of races in the USA.

In the US the vast majority of horse races are flat racing. This throws up 2 key differences between the type of racing seen in the UK. Firstly, the length of the race is different as many jump races around the world are just generally longer due to the hurdles. The other difference is the breeding of Quarter Horses. These types of horse are bred specifically for flat races and to only cover a distance of quarter of a mile or less. Horse racing in America also takes place on dirt a lot of the time instead of turf which is something that is different to many other racecourses around the world.


Racing in Asia has some key differences to the standard flat and jump racing which is seen throughout the rest of the world. Standard horse racing has boomed in recent decades in Japan but they also have an ancient sport known as ‘pull racing’ which is unique to the country. It sees jockeys who stand on sleds behind their horses make their way round the 200 metre course.

In recent years the excitement around horse racing has also sparked a huge rise in the sport in the UAE. Despite gambling being illegal here, the Dubai World Cup is held here and has increasingly had the largest prize pot for a race in the world.

The Mongol Derby is a historic race which was run by Genghis Khan in the 13th century and continues into the modern day variant. This is the longest race in the world and sees jockeys ride their horses over mountains, rivers and rough terrain.


Australia loves horse racing. They have more than 300 racecourses, the most of any country in the world, and also have 63 out of the 193 Group 1 races from around the globe. It is clear that this country are huge fans. Starting off with the British colony, the nation developed into horse racing fanatics. In Australia it is mainly flat racing which takes place with the most famous race in the country, the Melbourne Cup being dubbed ‘the race that stops a nation’ due to its popularity – so much so it is now a national holiday. The sheer amount of races is the special thing about the Australian horse racing scene. Indeed, betting on the sport has also started to increase with online betting booming in the sport there.

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