Finding entertainment and excitement in watching animal races is not a newer invention. It has been around for quite a while, and it is still something people engage in around the world. So, what is the story of animal races and where is the culture today?

The interest in competition with animals has existed for a long time. And nowadays people are engaging in betting on the races, which has probably always been a part of the racing somehow. Today every race has its category of betting such asKentucky derby betting and greyhound betting.

The culture of horse racing and animal racing, in general, is dependent on the specific country. And how you participate or what is expected can be quite difficult from country to country. 

The history of animal races

Animal races have long been a thing we have practiced for entertainment and excitement. It dates back to antiquity, where across the Mediterranean, races were a part of most citizens’ lives. And looking to the North there is a rich tradition for racing in the Nordic mythology. The first wild animal tamed goes back to Ancient China around 4500 BC and from this point, the experiment of what a tamed animal could bring has been explored.

This tradition and practice have lived on for a long time and are still quite present in the world we live in today. There are different types of races with different types of animals. The most widespread are races with horses and dogs. However, within the races with these animals are different genres.

Horse races

There are different types of horse races as there are races both with and without a rider. And as a category earlier mentioned, Kentucky Derby belongs in the first of the two categories. The Kentucky Derby is one of the more prestigious prizes you can win at a horse race. It is held annually at Churchill Downs and the horses, and their rider, run the distance of 1¼ miles. The very first Kentucky Derby race was held in May 1875. 

Besides races such as the Kentucky Derby with a rider, there are races where the horses’ race alone or with a carriage. It is not as widespread as races with a rider and probably less popular as well. However, it is a part of the quite big genre of horse racing amongst the posh race of Derby.

Dog races

Dog races are another part of the field of animal races and a popular one as well. In horse racing, there are naturally no riders. However, there are different races anyway. It is mostly categorized by breed. One of the most widespread dog races is greyhound racing. There is an old tradition of racing with the greyhound breed, and it is still popular across the world. Another breed that is connected to racing is the oldest known breed in the world, the Afghan Hound. It also has a status as a racing dog. It has been around for several thousand years. It is an intelligent and independent race, and it has a special look with its long hair.

Are animal races cruel?

There is an ongoing discussion about whether racing with animals is cruel or not. Some organizations are working to put an end to it. However, some work to prove that the animals have a healthy and great life. It is probably very dependent on the single trainer and the specific race. But the field of animal racing might be endangered if it is proved that it is not a healthy environment for the animals.