The manner in which a horse moves.
Related to Stakes offered for a race, entry fees paid by the owners of horses participating in a particular race added to the Stakes advertised by the racing authorities and a sponsor.
All racing thoroughbreds in India are considered a year older on the 1st of January regardless of the date they are actually born.
A Term for a horse not running at full speed.
Maximum effort put in by a horse whilst galloping either in a race or workout.
Generally in Europe and North America, a race for three-year-olds and upwards. In Australasia, this usually refers to races for two-year-olds and upwards.
In North America, a type of race where factors such as previous wins or earnings determine the weight a horse will carry. Similar to a conditions race in Europe.
Reduction of the weight carried by a horse owing to the handicap of the race, gender or on being ridden by an allowance claiming jockey.
Racing that takes place on an artificial surface (i.e. not turf); British term for dirt/sand racing.
: A term used to describe a poor performance of a horse in a race.
Amateur, i.e. unpaid, riders can usually ride only in races confined to them in Flat racing. In racecards and newspapers they are usually listed with a title (Mr, Mrs, Miss etc) to differentiate them from professional jockeys.
A veterinary treatment to cause a horse to be insensitive to sensation.
A jockey in the process of learning and assigned to a particular trainer under whom he/she receives instructions, guidance and support. An apprentice is also known as a ‘claimer’ as he/she is allowed to claim a reduction in the advertised weight a horse is assigned to carry. He is not allowed to carry a whip until he rides 10 winners. He is eligible to claim allotted allowance on the weights until he rides 40 winners or attains the age of 25.
Painful condition due to degeneration of the structure of bone and leading to restriction of movement.
Loss or failure of muscular co-ordination.
Wasting, usually of the muscles.
Back At The Knee
When the knee of a horse has a backward arc, viewed from the side.
Horse at the back of the field during a race.
General term for the stable areas of racecourses in North America.
Area of the racetrack, furthest away from the stands, that falls between two bends.
A horse who is not fit or fully developed.
A horse with a poor appetite.
Worn by horses to support or protect their legs during a race or exercise.
When a mare has been covered by a stallion but has not managed to become pregnant.
The ballot held to decide which starting stall each runner will occupy.
Another term for a jockey's whip or stick in Australasia.
When a horse deviates from a straight line, it is said to be either bearing in or bearing out.
In North America a bell sounds when the stalls open. At Ascot, Britain, a bell is rung when the horses in a race turn into the finishing straight.
Metal or rubber bar attached to the bridle which fits into a horse's mouth and is the main means the jockey has of exerting control, steering etc. There are several types of bit including a D Bit, whose rings are shaped like a letter D, and a snaffle bit, which is made of two loosely connecting pieces, providing greater flexibility.
Bold type in a horse's pedigree shows Group and Listed/Stakes winners. If a horse has lots of black type it means it is from a family with good winning credentials in high class races.
See entry under Colour
When horses finish very close together at the end of a race, so close that a blanket could encompass them.
Horse who bleeds internally during a race or in exercise. Usually horses bleed when some blood vessels around the lungs rupture or haemorrhage to a certain extent ('breaking a blood vessel'). When this happens, a horse will usually drop back in a race and a discharge of blood from the nose may be visible.
Device fitted to a horse's head that limits its field of vision, mainly from each side. Blinkers are used to help horses concentrate in races or to encourage them to run straighter.
Analysis of a blood sample to verify parentage, though DNA typing, which is even more accurate, is taking over.
Network of arteries and veins.
Person who purchases horses for other people as a business, with a commission being charged.
When a horse starts to drop out of contention during a race due to lack of fitness.
When a horse is given a final sharp (short) workout a few days before a race.
When a horse takes a bad step or checks on leaving the stalls in a race.
A horse making a bad step away from the starting gate.
When a horse runs away with its jockey.
To be trapped between, behind or inside of other horses during a race.
Training of a young horse to get it used to wearing a saddle and bridle and carrying a rider. The term usually used is 'breaking in a horse'.
When a horse goes lame during a race.
Giving a horse in a race a chance to conserve some energy by easing off briefly.
The owner of a mare at the time she gives birth to a foal.
One of the world's richest racemeetings, founded in 1984. Run in North America at a major racetrack annually in late October or early November.
When a horse works at a moderate speed.
Piece of tack that fits over a horse's head and to which the bit and reins are attached.
When a horse sustains an injury - normally a tendon/soft tissue injury requiring a long rest to recover.
A mare at stud who is kept with the aim of producing a foal.
See entry under Colour
A tight racetrack of less than a mile in circumference
American term for the fastest work over a particular distance on a day.
Anti-inflammatory drug that can help horses stop feeling pain. Many racing authorities, such as those in Europe, do not allow its use and Bute has to be declared in most jurisdictions where it is legal.
Europe's first annual awards ceremony, announced each November.
A horse who is lying on its side or back in a box/stall but is unable to get up because of its proximity to a wall.
Caulk or Calk
A projection downwards from the back of a shoe to give the horse a better grip, particularly on dirt surfaces when they are wet.
A horse pulled back momentarily by its jockey because there is suddenly no room in front.
Usually a lamb's wool roll placed on either side of a horses bridle which limits its field of vision, mainly from each side, enabling the horse to focus his attention in front.
Chesnut or Chestnut
Extension of the backstretch or homestretch to allow a longer straight run.
Another term used for apprentice jockeys, as they are able to 'claim' weight off a horse in a race due to their inexperience.
A type of race where all the runners have a claiming price attached to them. This price is determined by the owner or trainer on entering their horse and the figure stated affects the weight carried (the more money, the higher the weight). Either before or after the race has been run (depending in which country), any of the horses can be 'claimed' for the published price or more.
A term used to describe the very top races, usually confined to three-year-olds, in a particular country. For example, the Derby in England and the Kentucky Derby in the US are both Classics.
This is Flat Conditions Race, but horses entered in these races must have handicap ratings at or below a set figure, e.g. 0-95. The intention is to provide a non-handicap opportunity for horses with similar ratings, which in theory produces a competitive race.
Clerk Of The Course
The official whose duty it is to inspect and approve the track for racing under the Orders & Rules of Racing.
Clerk Of The Scales
The official whose duty it is to make sure the jockeys carry the allocated weights on horses in races, weighing them before and afterwards.
North American term for a horse who does all his best work at the end of a race, i.e. coming from off the pace.
Colour or Color (1)
Thoroughbred racehorses can be described as:
- Black - Coat, limbs, mane and tail are predominantly black.
- Brown - A mixture of black and brown in the coat. Black limbs, mane and tail.
- Bay/Brown - Coat is mainly brown with a bay muzzle. Black limbs, mane and tail.
- Bay - Any shade of brown between bay/brown and ches(t)nut. A bay's limbs, mane and tail are always black however.
- Chesnut or Chestnut - Various shades of yellow hair on the body, ranging from an intense red-yellow through to a subtler golden yellow. Mane, limbs and tail may be any shade of coat colour or flaxen.
- Grey or Gray - A mixture of black and white hair all over.
- Roan - A mixture of red and white, or brown and white. Limbs, mane and tail may be black, roan or ches(t)nut.
Colours or Colors (2)
The jacket and cap worn by jockeys in a race. Each owner has their own set of colours which are registered with the relevant turf authority. They are often referred to as 'silks' due to the fact they were originally made of silk. Nowadays, they tend to be made of light synthetic materials.
An ungelded male horse aged under five.
Term used to describe what class of race a horse runs in, for example Group One company, handicap company, allowance company, claiming company.
A contest in which the weight the horse carries is determined by factors such as age, sex and the races it has won previously. It is not a handicap.
A horse's physical make-up or look.
People involved with a horse including the owner, trainer, jockey and stable staff.
The person offering a horse for sale through an auction.
A jockey who rides for a particular stable. Also referred to as a retained rider or stable jockey.
Horseracing is a worldwide sport. All of the following countries have some kind of organised sport, mostly run by a recognised Turf authority: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Channel Islands, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Macau, Malaysia, Malta, Martinique, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad, Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom (Britain), Uruguay, United States of America, Venezuela, Yugoslavia and Zimbabwe.
Course and Distance winner
When a horse has won before on this racecourse and in a race over the same distance, he is called a course and distance winner.
When a stallion breeds with a mare.
Also known as a wind sucker. A horse who bites objects with its teeth and draws air into its stomach.
Thickening of the plantar tarsal liagment in the hock (hind leg) of the horse. The liagment is thickened a few inches below the point of the hock.
The surface or sub-surface of a racetrack in dirt/sand racing.
Cut in the ground
A description of the ground condition, when there is give in the surface, also called ‘soft going’.
When the judge cannot split two or more horses at the finishing line. The winning prize-money is split between the winners.
Can apply to any finishing position, i.e. second, third, fourth etc.
In Europe, when a horse is going to run.
In North America, when a horse is not going to run.
Type of track where the surface is mainly made up of sand or dirt.
When the finishing order is changed by the stewards because of interference or other rule infraction.
American term referring to female horses. Distaff races are confined to fillies and mares.
How far a race is.
If a horse is said to have been beaten a 'distance' (often referred to as 'distanced' in North America), historically that meant beaten at least 240 yards, but now it is used generally for over 30 lengths.
The gap between horses at the end of a race, measured in lengths or the following sub-divisions of lengths (in ascending order): nose, short head, head, neck, ½ length, ¾ length.
Illegal drugs given to a horse.
When a trainer/owner has two or more runners in a race and the lesser fancied horse wins.
The winnings made from one horse is rolled onto the second horse.
The stalls position allocated randomly to each horse in a race.
When a horse has to be strongly ridden by its jockey to keep its position in a race.
Dubai World Cup
The world's richest race, worth US$6 million, which was founded in 1996, and is run at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse, Dubai, over 10 furlongs on dirt in late March.
A slow start by a horse in a race.
When a jockey stops riding out a horse in a race. This is usually as a precaution against injury or when a horse is out of contention. Easily - When a horse wins a race without having to exert itself fully.
America's end-of-year awards established in 1971 and now encompassing 16 categories, announced each January.
Qualified to run in a particular race.
The area where the Runners gather for viewing before and after the race.
A review of the race by the stewards for the purpose of discovering possible rule violations.
General term for an uncastrated male horse, regardless of age though this usually means horses aged five and above.
Horses must be entered for a race before they can run. The process of entering horses can have several stages, although these vary from country to country. For some races, such as the Derby at Epsom, entry occurs months or even years in advance but for most races it is usually weeks or days ahead. Big races may then have one or more forfeit stages, where connections of a horse must state (and pay more money) to keep a horse entered. The final stage of entry, usually a day or two before the race, is generally known as the declaration stage. The jockey will usually have to be stated at the same time and stall positions are randomly assigned. Entries in North America are usually referred to as nominations.
Equine Viral Arteritis is a highly infection disease. Symptoms include lethargy, depression, swelling in the lower legs, conjunctivitis and swelling around the eye socket and upper eyelid. Abortion may occur in pregnant mares and the illness can result in death.
To nominate the first four horses in a race correctly.
Rider who partners a horse during its training work-outs.
When a horse has to be asked by its rider to produce maximum effort, or run at full speed.
A horse that was in contention early in the race but drops back in the late stages.
Specialist blacksmith who carries out work in connection with the preparation or treatment of the foot of a horse for the immediate reception of a shoe, the fitting by nailing or otherwise of a shoe to the foot, or the finishing off of such work to the foot.
Joint located between the cannon bone and the long pastern bone, also referred to as the ankle.
The horses set to run in a race.
Female horse aged under five.
The part of the course which runs in front of the Grandstand and includes the finishing post.
A horse aged up to a year (all horses have their birthdays on January 1st (Northern Hemisphere) whist in the Southern Hemisphere it is July 1st (South America) or August 1st (Australasia).
When a mare has given birth and often referred to as 'dropping' a foal.
A horse's past performances.
All thoroughbred horses can trace their parentage back to three stallions imported into Europe from the Middle East in the late 17th and early 18th centuries - the Darley Arabian, the Byerl(e)y Turk and the Godolphin Arabian.
The time for each furlong or quarter (2 furlongs) in a race.
A soft v-shaped pad on the sole of a horse’s hoof.
A horse who leads the others in a race.
Full Brother (Or Sister)
Two or more horses that share the same sire and dam.
A unit of measurement still used to describe the distances of races in some countries, including Britain. Furlong comes from the term 'furrow long' originally a term used in agriculture. A furlong is 220 yards (approximately 201 metres). In North America, a furlong is usually referred to as an 'eighth', due to the fact that there are eight furlongs in a mile.
The way in which a horse moves. In ascending order of speed, horses walk, trot, canter and gallop (European). See also Action.
Fast work (Europe) or canter (America).
A piece of land for horses to exercise on.
As in starting gate, an American expression for the stalls into which horses are loaded for the start of Flat races.
A male horse of any age that has been castrated. Generally, geldings can run in all the top races in North America and Australasia. Geldings were once excluded from nearly all of the main Flat races in Europe but nowadays they can run in most although the Classics remain an exception. The majority of horses running in ordinary races around the world tend to be geldings, as they do not develop the temperament of a stallion.
A horse that is honest and puts in every effort when racing. It also can be used to describe a horse as having all the correct attributes.
Get the trip
Usually said of a horse that stays the particular distance of the race.
Strip (usually made of leather and elastic) put under a horse's belly to which the saddle is attached.
Depicts the state of the ground on the racetrack on any given day. The track conditions can be described as follows and are listed in order of increasing moisture within the ground: Hard, Firm, Good to Firm, Good, Good to Soft, Soft, Heavy.
To win with an ever-increasing margin.
Good-Topped means that the horse has strength and/or quality in the neck and through the shoulders and girth to the quarters.
A system started in 1973 to grade the top races in North America according to the ability of the horses running in them. There are Grade One, Two and Three races and these are similar to the European Group race categories.
Second dam or grandmother of a horse.
Description of a horse who shows signs of inexperience or not knowing what to do in a race.
Grey or Gray
see entry under 'C' for Colour.
The European way of categorising top races started in 1971 - similar to the North American Graded system. There are Group One, Two and Three races.
When a horse has won easily.
Half-Brother (Or Sister)
When two or more horses share their dam but not their sire.
Piece of tack similar to a bridle, but lacking the usual bit. Usually worn by horses when they are not being ridden in and around stables.
When the rider does not resort to the whip in a race.
A type of race in which horses carry different weights according to their ability, with the best carrying more weight. The aim of a handicap is to give each horse an equal chance.
An official who assesses how a horse should be rated, taking into account its past performances.
A horse that runs in handicaps
Term in North America for someone who assesses and bets on races - a punter (Britain) or bettor.
When a horse is able to hold a position in a race without having to exert all its effort.
The unit of measurement for assessing the height of horses. One hand is equal to four inches (just over 10cm). Horses are measured from the ground up to the withers (the part of the horse where the neck ends) and racehorses usually measure between 15 and 17 hands.
Hands and Heels
When a horse is ridden without the use of a whip.
When a horse is tiring and does not run in a straight line.
Winning or running with ease.
A horse with little sensitivity in the mouth, so therefore hard to restrain.
Piece of tack attached to a horse's head. Can also be referred to as a halter.
Head of the Stretch
Beginning of the straight run to the finish line.
A margin between horses. One horse leading another by the length of its head.
A horse is held up when it is positioned to the back of the racing field in a race.
The final bend leading into the straight which has the finishing line on it.
Horse bred by his or her owner.
The foot of a horse.
Any thoroughbred of any sex but more specifically an ungelded male aged five or older, often referred to as an entire.
American term for the person who walks horses after a race or exercise to cool them down.
Hung (left or right)
A horse not maintaining a straight line/position when racing, leaning either to the left or to the right of the racetrack.
A horse holding the same position, unable to make up distance on the winner.
When a mare is pregnant.
In The Money
Generally speaking, when a horse finishes in the first three or four. This term refers to the fact that in most races prize-money is available only to horses that occupy these positions, though increasingly prize-money is awarded further down the field these days in valuable events, often to sixth place and sometimes beyond.
Area of a North American racecourse within the inside rails.
Held by stewards to judge whether any rules have been broken by jockeys during races which may have affected the chances of other horses. Stewards can disqualify horses for infractions and punish jockeys.
A situation during a race where a horse is impeded by one or a number of other runners.
Abbreviation for stirrup irons, the pieces of tack into which jockeys place their feet.
Selected races from race card normally 5 or 6 races to be nominated correctly.
Rider who partners a horse during a race, usually a professional.
A term used for the first and second favorites in a race.
Official at the racecourse who determines the finishing position of each horse in a race, the distances between them and usually the winning time.
General term for a horse that runs over hurdles or in steeplechases.
Another term for a two-year-old horse.
A term used in India to describe a bet with variable permutations & combinations across three or more races.CDT(cross double, triple ), CDTQ(cross double, treble, quadrable)
A Term for a sum of Rs 1 crore.
Condition in which a horse does not carry weight equally on all four legs, due to disease or injury.
Inflammation of the foot, specifically of the base membrane of the laminae of the hoof capsule.
Trade name for the furosemide drug that helps prevent horses bleeding. Its use in racehorses is permitted in North America but not generally in the rest of the world.
Lead weights carried each side of the saddle to make up any difference between the rider and his equipment's weight and that allocated to his mount in a race.
When a jockey is given assistance to mount a horse.
The distance between a horse's nose and tail (around eight feet). Used for determining the distance between horses at the end of a race.
A stakes race below Group status.
Exercising a horse in a confined area, usually with a long rein attached.
A horse which has never won a race. There are races specifically for maidens.
A female horse aged five or older.
A pole which marks distance at racecourses. The 2-furlong marker is a quarter of a mile from the finish.
Item of tack designed to restrain a horse. Usually consists of a neck strap fastened to the girth, which then passes through the forelegs and is attached to the reins.
A race that is run between 10 and 12 furlongs in Europe and between a mile and 9 furlongs in North America.
Missed The Break
A bad start when the stalls open.
North American term for horses that show lots of promise during their morning workout but fail to produce it on the racetrack.
The nose and lips of a horse.
A device placed over the nose and lips to stop a horse biting another horse or eating.
Every horse that runs must have a name registered with the Turf Authority in the country where it is based. No two horses can have the same name. In North America and Europe, names of thoroughbreds can be up to 18 characters long, including spaces and punctuation.
Left-hand side of a horse, from where riders are usually mounted.
Unit of measurement about the length of a horse's neck.
Lowering of head. To win by a nod, a horse extends its head with its nose touching the finish line ahead of a close competitor.
The complete list of runners entered by owners and trainers for a race.
A horse which is removed from the starting field, after being confirmed to run in a race.
All horses born in the Northern Hemisphere become a year old on January 1st. See also Age.
Smallest advantage a horse can win by. Can also be referred to as a short-head.
Strap that goes over a horse's nose in order to secure the bridle. A drop (sometimes referred to as a figure of eight) noseband goes over the nose and under the rings on the bit and helps to prevent the tongue from sliding over the bit.
Cloth under the saddle with the number of the horse printed on it and often the name of the horse or race sponsor. Sometimes knows as the saddle cloth.
A British term for two-year-old handicap races.
After a race, the rider of a beaten horse can claim a foul by the winner or another horse. This objection is then heard by the stewards. An objection can also come from racing officials, such as the clerk of scales if a rider fails to weigh in or has carried the wrong weight.
Off the bridle
When a horse isn't travelling freely and the jockey is having to push him along, he is described as 'off the bridle'.
Off the pace
When a horse isn't keeping up with other horses in a race.
A race is declared official in North America once the stewards are satisfied that nothing amiss occurred. In Britain the term is weighed in.
A racing official.
Right-hand side of a horse.
On The Bit/Off The Bit
On the bit means when a horse is travelling well (i.e. the bit is still tight in its mouth), whereas if a horse if off the bit it is having to be ridden to maintain its position. Can be referred to, particularly in Britain, as on or off the bridle.
To convert to bone, usually from cartilage and occasionally from muscle.
Over the Top
When a horse is considered to have reached its peak for that season.
When a horse's back leg(s) strike into its front leg(s).
When a jockey is too heavy to ride at the horse's allotted weight he/she puts up overweight. In some countries, there is a limit on the amount of overweight allowed on a horse in a race.
A person owning part or all of a horse. An owner may be a single person, a group of people (often referred to as a syndicate) or a company.
The speed at which a race is run. Up with the pace means close to the leaders, off the pace means some way behind.
A horse that runs in a race to ensure there is a good pace. Referred to as a rabbit or pacesetter in North America and Australasia.
The area of a racecourse where horses are paraded before each racesaddling often takes place there. Can be called the parade ring.
A grass field where horses are kept.
The area where horses can be viewed prior to a race.
A horse's passport gives its details including markings and is used to confirm identity in some racing jurisdictions.
The sloping bone in the lower leg which connects the hoof to the fetlock.
High-class, non-handicap races. Pattern races are sub-divided into Group One, Group Two and Group Three races, with Group One being the best. In North America, Pattern races are run as Grade One, Two or Three.
Details of parentage and ancestry recorded in a stud book.
Extra weight carried by a horse in a race if it has won since the original weights were determined, particularly in a handicap, or sometimes if it has won a particular type of race (e.g. a Pattern event).
A term used for a sum of Rs 1 hundred thousand(1 lakh).
When two or more horses finish close together at the end of a race and the judge needs to consult a photo at the finishing line, which is automatically taken, to determine the placings.
Pick Up The Bit
A term used to describe a horse that takes an interest in the race.
To buy a horse, usually at auction and usually a foal/weanling, with the intention of selling it later on.
A horse is generally said to be placed if it finishes first, second or third and sometimes fourth in a race. In America, place refers to the first two, with show denoting the first three.
A traditional prize for winning a race additional to the money.
Lightweight shoes used by horses in a race.
A horse who runs in selling or claiming races.
A marker pole to denote distance. The furlong pole is 220 yards from the finish.
The post which horses pass at the end of the race. Usually referred to as the winning post.
Another term for the start of a race. In North America 'Post Time' means the time when a race is scheduled to start.
North American description for where a horse is drawn and placed in the stalls or gate.
Designated time for a race to start.
A race intended as a preparation for a usually more important event in the future.
The enclosure where horses are saddled before a race.
Money which horses race for. Each race has a certain level of prize-money which comes from different sources including the money paid by connections to enter their horse (known as stakes) and often from commercial sponsorship, as well as from the racecourse. Also see entry under Added.
Propping is when a horse suddenly stops forward motion and plants either momentarily or long term its front or hind legs in an effort to stop what it has been doing. A horse can ‘prop’ for only a millisecond whilst looking at something new that catches their eye or they can downright stop and refuse to move on again in an act of defiance or independence.
A trainer who looks after horses from several owners, rather than just one owner (a private trainer) or themselves.
To bring to a halt a horse during or after a race or training session.
A horse that is unsettled in the early part of a race and is using too much energy fighting the jockey by pulling against the bridle.
General term for someone who gambles in Britain. Terms used elsewhere include bettor and handicapper.
Another term for the prize-money of a race - can be the part not put up by owners to enter their horses.
A process whereby horses going to other countries have to spend a certain period in isolation, either before or after arrival or both, to ensure that they are free from disease. Horses can leave quarantine only when the veterinary authority states that the horse offers no risk. Quarantine also refers to the general process whereby sick horses are isolated from others in order to prevent the spread of infection.
A quarter of a mile is the same as 2 furlongs, 440 yards and 1,320 feet.
To nominate the first two results in a race in any order.
A programme for the day's racing.
Barriers which determine the lay-out of a racetrack.
A horse that refuses to settle. Hard pulling is another term for this.
The minimum price an owner is willing to sell his horse for at public auction.
A horse selected as a standby runner in a race, in case an entry drops out.
When a horse is asked for the effort to win a race.
A horse that has only one, or neither, of its testicles descended. Rigs usually have to be gelded although there have been some notable exceptions, such as the champion European miler Selkirk, now a successful stallion.
An imposter in a race, a better horse illegally substituted for another and pretending to be that horse.
Contagious fungal disease. Results in small circular patches where the hair falls out.
See entry under 'Colour'.
When a horse wins very easily; romping home.
A horse going too fast too early, which then can’t settle into the race.
A horse taking part in a race.
Piece of riding equipment on which the jockey sits on the horse. It is placed on the horse's back and usually has a cloth or pad placed underneath (known as the saddle cloth) to protect the horse's back and absorb sweat.
Saddle Cloth (1)
Saddle Cloth (2)
Same as Number Cloth. Cloth under the saddle with the number of the horse and, sometimes, the name of the horse or race sponsor printed on it.
A horse being taught to do something. In North America, horses are said to be stalls or paddock schooled. In Britain, the term usually refers to jump horses being given practice over hurdles or fences.
The potential in a horse.
When a horse is taken out of a race it had been entered for.
A horse's maternal grandmother. The third dam is the great-grandmother, fourth dam the great-great-grandmother etc.
Usually a low quality race where the winner is offered for sale by auction after the race. Horses who run in sellers are also available to be claimed.
Two small bones located above and at the back of the fetlock joint.
In many races fillies and mares are able to carry less weight than their male counterparts, the allowance usually being 3lbs, 5lbs or 7lbs.
Usually a lamb's wool roll half way up the horse's face to keep him from seeing his own shadow.
Rein attached to the bridle, used to lead a horse.
The fitting of shoes to a horse, usually by a farrier.
Short Head or Nose
The smallest distances a horse can win a race by.
Horse who does not stay the distance of a race.
Finishing first, second or third in North America.
See entry under 'Colours'.
The father of a horse.
Used to describe a dirt track when it is wet.
White markings on a horse which go from the top of the hoof to the ankles.
Condition of a turf course with a large amount of moisture.
A horse who is fit to race.
All horses born in the Southern Hemisphere become a year older on July 1st (if born in South America) or on August 1st (if born in Australasia). See also Age.
A bony growth on the tendon.
Employees of sales auctions who bring bids to the notice of auctioneers.
Spread a plate
When a racing plate or horseshoe comes off.
Short race, less than one mile.
A horse that races between 5 and 7 furlongs.
Important races with a certain standing. See Pattern, Group, Grade and Listed.
A male horse who is used for breeding.
See entry for 'Starting Stalls'.
Racecourse official who co-ordinates the start of a race. His primary aim is to ensure that the start is level and fair.
A horse who takes part in the race. A horse who enters the starting stalls and is in them when the stalls open is deemed a starter, even if the horse remains in the stalls.
Mobile mechanism of compartments for horses. Runners enter the stalls at the start of a race and, when all have been loaded, the starter operates a lever or button which opens all the front doors of the stalls simultaneously. Before stalls, horses lined up at the start behind a tape or barrier. The introduction of stalls, first used in North America, enabled all horses to have an equal chance at the start. Also referred to as the starting gate in North America.
A horse that usually runs in races longer than 12 furlongs.
When a rider controls a horse to prevent it from going faster.
Officials at racecourses who are in overall charge of the conduct of the race meeting as far as the rules go.
Another word for a jockey's whip.
The equivalent of the human knee - the joint between the femur and tibia with a kneecap attached to the front.
Also known as irons, they are the pieces of tack where jockeys place their feet. Usually metal shaped rings in the form of a D.
Highly infectious disease of the upper respiratory tract.
As in home stretch, the final straight of a race.
Organisation that breeds horses. The term stud also refers to the actual physical buildings of the stud itself, such as stables and barns.
Another term for a stallion in North America.
Record kept by a turf authority detailing the pedigrees and ancestry of thoroughbred horses - stallions, broodmares and their progeny.See www.indianstudbook.com
Strap placed over the saddle and girth to prevent them from moving.
Punishment for breaking the rules imposed by stewards on mainly jockeys but also applicable to trainers, owners and horses. Suspensions can be as short as one day, or years in very serious cases.
Ligaments attached to the sesamoids.
Long, weak back.
Shortened from tackle, the general term for equipment fitted to a horse before it can be ridden such as saddle, reins, bridle and stirrups.
An artificial surface developed in America by Michael Dickinson. It is a patented wax-coated mixture of sand, rubber and fibre.
Horse identification mark used in various countries including the USA.
Horse used to test whether a mare is ready to be covered by a stallion. The teaser approaches the mare behind a shield known as a teasing board.
Tough fibrous cords that connect muscle to bone or other tissue in legs.
Breed of horse, originating in Britain, used as racehorses. All thoroughbred horses can trace their parentage back to three stallions imported into Europe from the Middle East in the late 17th and early 18th centuries - the Darley Arabian, the Byerl(e)y Turk and the Godolphin Arabian. Thoroughbreds are registered in recognised stud books around the world.
Generally a narrow track with tight turns.
Strip of fabric tied round a horse's tongue to stop choking during a race. Also known as a tongue strap.
The horse with the highest weight in a race, particularly in handicaps.
Fastest time recorded for each race distance at a racecourse.
Person with responsibility for preparing horses for racing.
To nominate three horses in selected races for treble correctly.
Trial or Mock Race
A race designed for horses that have a bad record at the starting stalls, and sometime those going on to participate in a big race [no prize money is on offer]
To nominate the first three horses placed in a race correctly.
In Britain this involves the 2,000 Guineas, Derby and St Leger and in the USA the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes and Preakness Stakes. A horse lands the Triple Crown if winning all three races. There are also variations for fillies, and Triple Crowns in other countries.
Modest speed gait in which a horse moves from one diagonal pair of legs to the other. One foreleg and the opposite hind leg are on the ground as the other foreleg and opposite hind leg are moving forward. This is faster than a walk but slower than a canter or gallop.
Type of track surface, made up of grass.
Turn of Foot
The ability of a racehorse to show a burst of acceleration.
A horse becomes two on January 1 (in the Northern Hemisphere) of the second year following the date of its birth.
A condition which involves the muscles accumulating lactic acid, causing them to lose their elasticity and leading to cramp.
Using ultrasonic waves to give images of internal structures.
When a horse is kept under restraint during exercise or in a race.
A horse that has not filled its frame and has yet to finish growing.
A horse that does not put in every effort when racing and can be unpredictable in its performances.
A horse that finishes outside the main picture, which is generally the first three past the winning post, depending on the size of the field.
Describes any condition or conformation fault that stops a horse being able to race.
A horse who has not been in full training or tested for speed.
A stallion that has not bred yet.
Person who looks after jockeys' tack, riding equipment and silks, and generally helps prepare for rides.
Short for veterinarian, a person qualified to treat horses.
Device which limits a horse's vision to aid concentration. A visor is used to have the same effect as blinkers.
When only one horse runs in a race. The jockey must go through the procedure of weighing in and weighing out and then has to canter past the stands on the horse.
A foal who has been weaned off its mother but is not yet a yearling.
Weighing In/Weighing Out
Jockeys must sit or stand on the racecourse scales before and after every race to verify their racing weight to the Clerk of the Scales.
Building where jockeys change and prepare for a race. Jockeys are weighed both before and after a race. The clerk of the scales is the official in charge of the weighing room.
The load carried by a horse during a race. Weight consists primarily of the jockey and his tack. If this does not provide enough to equal the weight allocated to the horse, pieces of lead are added to the sides of the saddle.
Leather cloth with pockets that hold flat pieces of lead. They are removable and interchangeable. The weight cloth is carried under the jockey’s saddle and is to ensure that they ride at the correct weight in a race.
Weight For Age
Fixed scale of weights carried by horses in races depending on age, sex, distance of race and time of year.
Used by jockeys to help keep horses under control and to encourage them to go faster. Can be called stick or bat.
The area where the winner and often the placed horses come to have their saddles removed after a race. Also known as the unsaddling enclosure.
Indicates where the winning line is.
North American term for the finishing line.
The part of the horse where the neck ends.
General term for horses exercising.
A horse aged between one and two years. Northern Hemisphere horses celebrate their first birthday on the first January 1 after birth.
Condition of turf course with a great deal of moisture.