Warning: Undefined variable $sitetitle in D:\HostingSpaces\TBVillage\thoroughbredvillage.com.au\wwwroot\wordpress\wp-content\themes\wp-prosper4\theme-styles.php on line 139

5 of the largest horse racing events from around the world

| January 30, 2024

Horse racing is, perhaps, one of the oldest sports in the world. From Ancient Greece and Rome to the deserts of Syria and Arabia, horse racing has been popular for thousands of years. Even today, with a myriad of sports available, horse racing continues to attract millions of spectators and bettors. Here’s a look at 5 of the largest horse racing events from around the globe, from the Dubai World Cup to the timeless Kentucky Derby. 

The Epsom Derby in the United Kingdom

Sometimes called the Investec Derby, the Epsom Derby in Surrey, England, is a yearly tournament that traces its start back to 1780. This historical race is 2.4 kilometres in length, making it longer than your typical sprint. It’s certainly a test of endurance for both horse and jockey, as you’ll need stamina as well as speed if you intend to get on the podium. 

Fans and bettors from all over England flock to the Epsom Derby, held on the first Saturday in June, to place bets and watch as the world’s finest horses compete. For those who can’t make the journey, the best horse betting sites offer an alternative way to place a wager on this nearly 250-year-old race.

Largest horse racing events from around the world

The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France

Heading across the English Channel to Paris, France, you can find the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, one of the largest and most prestigious horse races in all of Europe. An annual event at the Longchamp Racecourse, the best horses from around the world meet on the first Sunday in October for a flat race stretching 2.4 kilometres. With a purse of five million euros, it also has one of the largest prize pools. While it’s not as old as some other entries on this list, it’s still quite old, starting in 1920. The event is viewed by thousands in person and broadcast to millions around the globe.

The Melbourne Cup in Australia

Moving to the land down under, the Melbourne Cup is one of the crown jewels of Australian horse racing. On the first Tuesday in November, Flemington Racecourse hosts this prestigious event. Slightly longer than the Epsom Derby, at 3.2 kilometres, endurance is even more crucial here. In 2023, the Melbourne Cup boasted an enormous prize pool of just under eight and a half million Australian dollars. On top of the first-place prize of $4.4 million, the winner also got a solid gold 18-carat trophy.

The Melbourne Cup is such an important event in the region that it’s a public holiday for everyone working within the metropolitan area of Melbourne and even some parts of Victoria. It’s such a popular day that some are calling for it to be a national holiday, citing the massive increase in sick leave and vacation time taken by workers around the nation. It doesn’t end there, however, as the day after sees a rise in sick leave, too, with hundreds of thousands of workers nursing hangovers, leading to a massive loss in productivity.

The Kentucky Derby in the United States

If you happen to be in Louisville on the first Saturday in May, you might be lucky enough to catch the most famous American horse race in all of history; the Kentucky Derby is the most-watched and most-attended horse race in the United States, approaching its 150th running this year. Often referred to as the most exciting two minutes in sports, the Kentucky Derby is a shorter race than the other entries on this list, at just 10 furlongs or 2 kilometres. Everyone is competing for a five-million-dollar purse, making it an exciting time for spectators and teams.

The Royal Ascot in the United Kingdom

The Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire, England, is home to the Royal Ascot, a five-day event in June that stands out as one of the most iconic horse races in the world. The race attracts famous people from all over, including the British royal family. It’s certainly an event marked with dignity, elegance and oddly enough, unusual hats.

As it is a five-day event, there are numerous races, with the most famous being the Gold Cup. At an unusual length of 4 kilometres, this race is meant for horses with endurance and stamina. While speed is key in shorter races, being able to go the distance is certainly more important for a race of this length. The Royal Ascot also tends to feature a lot of extra activities, ranging from street foods to a full bandstand. This is a great race for those who are also looking for a unique atmosphere they won’t find anywhere else.

Wrap up

While there are certainly other races around the world that are popular, these are undoubtedly some of the largest that regularly attract massive crowds, both in the stadium and in front of TVs around the world. As one of the oldest sports in the world, it’s no secret why it continues to be popular in the modern day. It also provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate and even throw a party. If you’re looking to get into horse racing, these five races are a great place to start. There’s energy, skill and most importantly, lots of money on the line. 

Category: Racing

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.