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Jump Horse Racing

Jump Horse Racing - Introduction

Jump Horse Racing is simply Horse Racing where there are obstacles which must be navigated. These obstacles are in the form either of "hurdles" or of full blown fences, which can include water jumps. Hurdles are generally much lower fences which are made to "break down" if a horse should fail to jump high enough to scale them. Fences on the other hand will definately bring a horse down if the jump is not executed correctly

Jump Racing without doubt required a great degree of skill than just flat racing, and of course Jump Racing can be very dangerous especially if a horse was to fall on a jockey or even stand on a jockey. Horses frequently get injured especially on the more difficult corses such as at Cheltenham or Aintree. Every year there are horses which have to be put down by the vet at the course due to having injured themselves during the race

There are also a number of National Hunt Flat Races that are often staged at Jumping Meetings. These races, although included in the Jumping Calender do not involve any obstances at all and are simply flat races which are aimed at newcomers to get them into the jumping scene and prepare them for more difficult hurdles and chases

Jump Horse Racing - Race Distances

One of the most recognizable differences between Flat Racing and Jump Racing is the distance over which the race is run. Often in Flat Racing the distances are faily short e.g. sprints over less than a mile is common. However in Jump Racing horses rarely race for less than 2 miles and big steeple chases, such as the Grand National are run over up to the 4 mile mark. However anything over 3.5 miles is uncommon.

Jump Horse Racing - The Weights

The weights the horses are set to carry as calculated by the Official Handicapper are significantly higher for Jump Races. The average weight is 10 stone or higher will the best horses being given weights of over 12 Stone. Apprentice or Conditional Jockeys are allowed a weight allowance and a good apprentice can use this to their advantage especially over Soft ground and longer distances

Jump Horse Racing - The Season

Jump Racing is run principally in the winter period, from late September through to early May. However the season is now extended to run throughout the year i.e. over the full 12 months. However the best ground for Jump horses is Good to Soft, and this ground is frequently not available in the Summer period, as due to the lack of water the ground firms up to Good to Firm

Jump Horse Racing - The Courses

Some of the more popuilar courses which stage Jump Meetings in the UK are given below

  • Aintree
  • Ascot
  • Ayr
  • Bangor
  • Carlisle
  • Cartmel
  • Catterick
  • Cheltenham
  • Chepstow
  • Doncaster
  • Exeter
  • Fakenham
  • Folkestone
  • Fontwell
  • Haydock
  • Hereford
  • Hexham
  • Huntingdon
  • Kelso
  • Kempton
  • Leicester
  • Lingfield
  • Ludlow
  • Market Rasen
  • Newbury
  • Newcastle
  • Newton Abbot
  • Nottingham
  • Perth
  • Plumpton
  • Sandown
  • Sedgefield
  • Southwell
  • Stratford
  • Taunton
  • Towcester
  • Uttoxeter
  • Warwick
  • Wetherby
  • Wincanton
  • Windsor
  • Worcester

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