A horse race is a contest between two or more horses in which the winner is determined by the fastest time or distance covered. The contest can take place on a dirt, grass or synthetic track and is generally divided into several races of different lengths and styles. While the sport of horse racing has evolved into a worldwide spectacle involving large fields of runners, sophisticated electronic monitoring equipment and immense sums of money, its fundamental feature remains the same. A horse race is a contest of speed and stamina between humans and horses, a competition that requires both physical ability and human skill and judgment. While many people criticize the sport for its inhumane treatment of animals or that it has been corrupted by doping and overbreeding, others maintain that it is a sport that requires significant reform but should remain legal and enjoyable to those who enjoy watching it.
A variety of academic studies are examining the impact of horse race reporting, which is often biased toward major party candidates and shortchanges third-party voters. Some research indicates that horse race reporting has a greater impact on voters than opinion polls, while other studies indicate that media coverage can be influenced by political insiders and can lead to false assumptions about the odds of winning a particular race.
There is no doubt that horse race reporting has a profound effect on voter decision making and that it should be carefully scrutinized by the news media. The impact of horse race reporting can be particularly devastating when it is used to influence the outcome of a national election. This article reviews several academic studies on the impact of horse race reporting and discusses the implications for journalists, politicians and voters.
The equine sports of harness racing and thoroughbred horse racing have a long history and are well established in many countries. Their origins can be traced back to the earliest timed events, and it is clear that both man and horse have improved over time in terms of speed and endurance. This improvement can be attributed to common factors such as improved nutrition, increased training and the use of medication, but there are also more esoteric factors such as selective breeding and improvements in race tracks.
While many people believe that horses are born to run, the fact is that most horses are not suited for this sport and will suffer under its pressures. In addition to being pushed to speeds that are not natural for their skeletal systems, horses must endure intense stress and have little to no rest in between races. As a result, horses frequently die from injuries incurred in the course of racing.
Many of these deaths are preventable, but the industry is resistant to change. In an effort to reduce the number of fatalities, Congress recently passed legislation requiring stricter safety standards and the industry’s watchdog, the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA), began enforcing some of these new rules last July.