Horse Racing, Thoroughbred

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Horse Racing, Thoroughbred


contests of purebred saddle horses held to determine and develop the horses’ capabilities, including speed, endurance, and jumping ability; one of the forms of equestrian sports.

There are several types of thoroughbred horse racing: flat, hurdle, steeplechase, and cross-country races and par force hunting. Flat races are held on a level area, usually the course of a racetrack, with a stretch run of 1,000–4,000 m. The length of the run depends on the age of the horses, which ranges from two to four years and older. Hurdle races, for horses aged three or four years and older, are usually held on a racecourse with a run of 2,000–4,000 m and five to 12 light hurdles. Steeplechase races, for horses at least four years old, are held for distances of 3,200–7,000 m and have eight to 30 various heavy, stationary obstacles. Cross-country races are held for distances of 3,000–8,000 m. Par force hunting is conducted for distances of up to 35 km on older horses.

The weight of the jockey is strictly limited to 55–71 kg with saddle, depending on the type of race and the age, sex, and class of the horse. Flat races are the most important races for the development of thoroughbred horse breeding.

Major international races include the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (2,400 m, France), the Preis Europa (2,400 m, Federal Republic of Germany, won in 1965–67 by the stallion Ani-lin, ridden by jockey N. N. Nasibov of the USSR), the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2,414 m, Great Britain), and the Ascot Gold Cup (4,022 m, Great Britain). Major international steeplechase races include the Grand National Steeplechase at Liverpool (7,200 m, 30 hurdles; Great Britain) and the Great Pardubice Steeplechase (6,900 m, 31 hurdles; Czechoslovakia).

Traditional races in the USSR include the M. I. Kalinin Prize (1,600 m), the Great All-Union Derby Prize (2,400 m), the USSR Prize (3,200 m), and the S. M. Budennyi Prize (2,800–3,200 m). The Moscow Prize (3,000 m, nine hurdles) is a traditional hurdle race. Steeplechase races in the USSR include the Great All-Union Steeplechase (6,000 m, 20 obstacles) and the Central Moscow Hippodrome Prize (4,800 m, 16 obstacles).


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.