A horse length, or simply length, is a unit of measurement for the length of a horse from nose to tail, approximately 8 feet (2.4 m).
The length is commonly used in Thoroughbred horse racing, where it describes the distance between horses in a race. Horses may be described as winning by several lengths, as in the notable example of Secretariat, who won the 1973 Belmont Stakes by 31 lengths. In 2013, the New York Racing Association placed a blue-and-white checkered pole at Belmont Park to mark that winning margin; using Equibase's official measurement of a length—8 feet 2 inches (2.49 m)—the pole was placed 253 feet 2 inches (77.17 m) from the finish line.
More often, winning distances are merely a fraction of a length, such as half a length. In British horse racing, the distances between horses are calculated by converting the time between them into lengths by a scale of lengths-per-second. The actual number of lengths-per-second varies according to the type of race and the going conditions. For example, in a flat turf race run on good going, a value of six lengths-per-second is used; in a national hunt race on heavy going, where horses are assumed to be moving more slowly, the value is four lengths-per-second.
Distances smaller than that are similarly described in reference to the equine body with terms such as a "neck",and a "head", a "short head" or "nose", the smallest possible named advantage by which a horse can win. In Ireland a margin of more than 30 lengths is described as a "distance". In the United Kingdom, the maximum recognised distance is 99 lengths, with anything over this being referred to as "99+ lengths". In France the term "short neck" is used for a margin intermediate between a head and a neck. Harness race finishing margins are typically measured in meters.
These terms are used in other disciplines of equestrianism as well. It is particularly useful as a guide for riders in spacing animals apart when a number of them are all together in a riding arena such as during group riding instruction or at a horse show.
In reporting result of horse races winning margins are commonly abbreviated:
|Half a length||1/2|
|Three quarters of a length||3/4|
|Half a length||½L|
|Three-quarters of a length||¾L|
Tack is equipment or accessories equipped on horses and other equines in the course of their use as domesticated animals. Saddles, stirrups, bridles, halters, reins, bits, harnesses, martingales, and breastplates are all forms of horse tack. Equipping a horse is often referred to as tacking up. A room to store such equipment, usually near or in a stable, is a tack room.
The Belmont Stakes is an American Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds run at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. Colts and geldings carry a weight of 126 pounds (57 kg); fillies carry 121 pounds (55 kg). The race, nicknamed The Test of the Champion and The Run for the Carnations, is the traditional third and final leg of the Triple Crown. It is usually held on the first or second Saturday in June, five weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks after the Preakness Stakes. The 1973 Belmont Stakes and Triple Crown winner Secretariat holds the mile and a half stakes record of 2:24.
Secretariat was a champion American Thoroughbred racehorse who is the ninth winner of the American Triple Crown. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest racehorses of all time. He became the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years and his record-breaking victory in the Belmont Stakes, which he won by 31 lengths, is widely regarded as one of the greatest races in history. During his racing career, he won five Eclipse Awards, including Horse of the Year honors at ages two and three. He was nominated to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1974. In the List of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century, Secretariat is second only to Man o' War.
Equestrianism, commonly known as horse riding or horseback riding, includes the disciplines of riding, driving, vaulting. This broad description includes the use of horses for practical working purposes, transportation, recreational activities, artistic or cultural exercises, and competitive sport.
Horse racing is an equestrian performance sport, typically involving two or more horses ridden by jockeys over a set distance, for competition. It is one of the most ancient of all sports, as its basic premise – to identify which of two or more horses is the fastest over a set course or distance – has been unchanged since at least classical antiquity.
Pole bending is a timed event that features a horse and one mounted rider, running a weaving or serpentine path around six poles arranged in a line. This event is usually seen in high school rodeos and 4-H events as well as American Quarter Horse Association, Paint, and Appaloosa sanctioned shows as well as at many gymkhana or O-Mok-See events.
Affirmed was a champion American Thoroughbred racehorse who is the eleventh winner of the American Triple Crown. Affirmed was well-known for his famous rivalry with Alydar, whom he met ten times, including coming second in all three Triple Crown races. After Affirmed won the Triple Crown, there was a 37-year wait until American Pharoah swept the series in 2015, more than a quarter of a century later.
Smarty Jones is a champion Thoroughbred racehorse who won the 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes and came second in the Belmont Stakes.
Count Fleet was a champion American Thoroughbred racehorse who is the sixth winner of the American Triple Crown. He won the Belmont Stakes by a then record margin of twenty-five lengths. After an undefeated season, he was named the 1943 Horse of the Year and champion three-year-old. Also a champion at age two, he is ranked as one of the greatest American racehorses of the twentieth century, ranking fifth on the Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century. He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1961.
The Australian and New Zealand punting glossary explains some of the terms, jargon and slang which are commonly used and heard on Australian and New Zealand racecourses, in TABs, on radio, and in the horse racing media. Some terms are peculiar to Australia, such as references to bookmakers, but most are used in both countries.
Easy Goer was an American Champion Hall of Fame Thoroughbred racehorse known for earning American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt honors in 1988 and defeating 1989 American Horse of the Year Sunday Silence in the Belmont Stakes by eight lengths. Both horses were later voted into the American Hall of Fame. The victory deprived Sunday Silence of the Triple Crown. It was also the second-fastest Belmont in history, behind only the record performance of Secretariat in 1973. Easy Goer was the first two-year-old champion to win a Triple Crown race since Spectacular Bid in 1979. Easy Goer also ran the fastest mile on dirt by any three-year-old in the history of Thoroughbred racing with a time of 1:32+2⁄5, which was a second faster than Secretariat's stakes record, and one-fifth of a second off of the world record set by Dr. Fager in 1968.
Bold Ruler was an American Thoroughbred Hall of Fame racehorse who was named the 1957 Horse of the Year after a three-year-old campaign that included wins in the Preakness Stakes and Trenton Handicap, in which he defeated fellow Hall of Fame inductees Round Table and Gallant Man. He was also named American Champion Sprinter at age four. On retirement, he became the leading sire in North America eight times between 1963 and 1973, the most of any sire in the twentieth century. He is now best known as the sire of Triple Crown winner Secretariat, and was also the grandsire of Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew. He was an outstanding sire of sires, whose modern descendants include many classic winners such as California Chrome.
Charles David "Chic" Anderson was an American sportscaster and public address announcer specializing in Thoroughbred horse racing. He was one of American sports' most famous PA voices, and remains among its most revered race callers. Anderson's narration of the 1973 Belmont Stakes, where he described Secretariat as "moving like a tremendous machine", remains one of horse racing's most memorable calls.
Laffit Alejandro Pincay Jr. was once flat racing's winningest all-time jockey, still holding third place many years after his retirement. He competed primarily in the United States.
Little Current was an American Thoroughbred racehorse who won the final two legs of the 1974 U.S. Triple Crown both the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.
In the United States, the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, commonly known as the Triple Crown, is a title awarded to a three-year-old Thoroughbred horse who wins the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. The three races were inaugurated in different years, the last being the Kentucky Derby in 1875. The Triple Crown Trophy, commissioned in 1950 but awarded to all previous winners as well as those after 1950, is awarded to a Triple Crown winner. The races are traditionally run in May and early June of each year, although global events have resulted in schedule adjustments, such as in 1945 and 2020.
This is a basic glossary of equestrian terms that includes both technical terminology and jargon developed over the centuries for horses and other equidae, as well as various horse-related concepts. Where noted, some terms are used only in American English (US), only in British English (UK), or are regional to a particular part of the world, such as Australia (AU).
Glossary of North American horse racing:
The 1973 Belmont Stakes was the 105th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, held on June 9, 1973. Facing a field of five horses, Secretariat won by 31 lengths, the largest margin of victory in Belmont history, in front of a crowd of 69,138 spectators. His winning time of 2 minutes and 24 seconds still stands as the American record for a mile and a half on dirt. The event was televised and broadcast over the radio.
Oxbow, an American Thoroughbred racehorse, is best known for winning the second jewel in the United States Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, the 2013 Preakness Stakes. A bay colt, sired by a winner of the Breeders' Cup Classic and out of a full sister to another Breeders' Cup Classic winner, Oxbow was sold as a yearling at Keeneland for $250,000 and is owned by Brad Kelley of Calumet Farm. He was trained by D. Wayne Lukas and was ridden in his Triple Crown races by Gary Stevens.