Did You Know?

Fun Facts about Horse Racing

Fun Facts about Horse Racing I Bet You Didn’t Know?

If you enjoy the sport of horse racing here are some Fun Facts?

Next time, you are hanging out with friends at the race track, see how many of your friends really know about Horse Racing.  


There aDid you know Fun Facts about Horse Racingre 9 colors recognized by The Jockey Club for Thoroughbred Horses:

    • Bay: The entire coat of the horse may vary from a yellow-tan to a bright auburn. The mane, tail and lower portion of the legs are black unless white markings are present.


  • Black: The entire coat of the horse is black, including the muzzle, the flanks, and the mane, tail, and legs, unless white markings are present.



  • Chestnut: The entire coat of the horse may vary from a red-yellow to a golden-yellow. The mane, tail, and legs are usually variations of the coat color unless white markings are present.


  • Dark Bay/Brown: The entire coat of the horse will vary from a brown, with areas of tan on the shoulders, head, and flanks, to a dark brown, with tan areas seen only in the flanks and/or muzzle. The mane, tail and lower portion of the legs are always black unless white markings are present.


  • Gray/Roan:  The Jockey Club has combined these colors into one color category. This does not change the individual definitions of the colors for gray and roan and in no way impacts the two-coat color inheritance principle as stated in Rule 1(E).


  • Gray: The majority of the coat of the horse is a mixture of black and white hairs. Mane, tail, and legs may be either black or gray unless white markings are present.


  • Roan: The majority of the coat of the horse is a mixture of red and white hairs or brown and white hairs. The mane, tail, and legs may be black, chestnut or roan, unless white markings are present.


  • Palomino: The entire coat of the horse is golden-yellow unless white markings are present. The mane and tail are usually flaxen.


  • White: The entire coat, including the mane, tail, and legs, is predominantly white.


Gender of a Horse

  • Foal: Male or Female horse less than one-year-old
  • Filly: A female horse four years old or younger
  • Colt: An male horse four years old or younger
  • Horse: An non-neutered male horse five years old or older
  • Cryptorchid: A male horse that has no testicles but was never gelded (undescended)
  • Monorchid: A male horse has only one testicle in the scrotum (removed or undescended)
  • Mare: A female horse five years old or older
  • Gelding: Male horse who’s been castrated/neutered
  • Stallion: Male horse over four years old and still able to breed


Horse Breeding Terminology


Bred – Any mare or filly part of a physical act of matting (breeding)

Breeder – Owner of the dam at the time of foal birth

Broodmare – Mare or filly that is used for breeding (mate) 

Maiden – Mare or filly that have never been mated. (bred)

Father – Stallion or Sire 

Mother – Mare or Dam

Belmont $50 - 728x90

Fun Facts about Horse Racing!!!!!!!!!!! 

1) Horse Racing is known as the “Sports of Kings”.


2) Thoroughbred Horse Racing in the United States dates back to 1665, the first racetrack was constructed in New York in a section known as the Hempstead Plains of Long Island. 


3) All Thoroughbred Horses in the Northern Hemisphere have the same birth date January 1st no matter what month they were born.  In the Southern Hemisphere, all horses birthday are August 1st. Breeders will mate their horses close to February as possible.  So, the horse will be almost a year old when it’s time to enter into their first race.  


4) Every Thoroughbred Horse has a lip tattoo to identify them and tell you about the horse.  It’s located on the inside of the upper lip and consist of 1 letter and 5 numbers.  The letter indicates the age of the horse; the numbers are the registration with The Jockey Club.  You can find out the horses registered name and even information about their racing career.


5) Thoroughbred Horses length from nose to tail is about 9 feet long.  They have two unusual characteristics that make them well suited for racing. Their long neck that moves in unison with their front legs, which provides them with the speed to move forward faster.  Second, their hind legs bend and straighten nearly in a vertical line, which drives the horse forward more efficiently with every step.


6) Horses are measured in a “Hand” unit which is equal to 4 inches per hand.  An average width across a man’s hand is 4 inches this is where the “Hand” unit came from.  Therefore, if a horse measures 15 hands you would take 15 x 4 = 60 inches tall, which is also 5 foot. 


7) The estimated time a horse’s pregnancy will be 340 days before a foal is born.


8) It all started back in 1689 when the first of the three stallions were imported into England and the first Thoroughbred horses where started breeding.


9) New Jersey has been designated the horse as the state animal. The state contains over 4,500 horse farms and houses almost 40,000 horses.  New Jersey preserves the natural lands in the state to do the extensive contributions to horses.


10) As of December 2016, the oldest living Thoroughbred Horse is Prospect Point.  At the beautiful age of 38 years, young Prospect Point was born on March 4, 1978.  His last race was at Waterford Park which was a $1,500 Claiming Race. Waterford Park is now known as Mountaineer Park as of July 10, 1985.


11) The scientific name for a horse is Equus caballus.


12) As of 2017, all Thoroughbred Foals are required to have a microchip implanted instead of a lip tattoo (previously stated above #4) to be registered with the Jockey Club.  

Foal Microchip – Tutorial 2017 – Jockey Club from The Jockey Club on Vimeo.



Horse Racing isn’t all Serious Business 

Sometimes you just have to horse around a little and have a few laughs.  Share your Horse Funny on our Horse Humor page.





  1. Tony Spagnolia

    Not too far away from the big events of horse racing season! I know we get some races down here in Florida like the Tampa Bay derby that just happened. I always wondered where the hand measurement came from. Was it the size of someone’s hand that was famous kind of like the whole foot thing?

    1. Ann and Alex (Post author)

      Hi Tony, 

      Oh Yes, I have never been to Tampa Bay Downs yet but planning a trip there soon.  I have been to Gulfstream Park and Philly Parx which is pretty cool.  The big prep races are underway for the Kentucky Derby horses.  The Hands measurement has been around for a long time. When men are out in the stables they don’t carry a measuring tape so they use there hands.  

      Hope to get to Tampa Bay Downs soon



  2. shrey

    These different types of horse colors you mentioned are really interesting. It is amazing that there are so many different kinds of them available and I did not know of this until I read the post.
    I was quite interested in horse betting and wanted to know how it works. This site is really great for learners like me.

    1. Karden (Post author)

      The post position colors is a way to keep track of your horse during the race. They are standard for American Thoroughbred Horse Races.

      If you should have any questions about horse racing being new at it, please leave a comment and we will gladly answer them for you.

      Happy we can help new comers like yourself to horse racing.

      It’s a great sport.


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