A hurdle race in Great Britain and Ireland is a National Hunt horse race where the horses jump over obstacles called hurdles or flights that are over three and a half feet high. They are typically made of a series of panels made of brush and are flexible. Hurdle races always have a minimum of eight hurdles and a minimum distance of two miles (3 km).
National Hunt horses that have the size and scope to jump higher than the height of a hurdle use these types of races in order to gain experience of jumping obstacles so they can later be sent to jump bigger obstacles called fences. Hurdle races tend to be run at a faster pace than Chases as the height of the hurdle is much lower than a chasing fence. The best hurdlers have a low and efficient style of jumping, which means they do not lose much momentum when they run over or hurdle a hurdle.
Australian hurdle races are now conducted over wooden fences which provide some flexibility when ran over or hurdled. In Victoria, these runs consist of portable hurdles in which the natural brush has been replaced by bright yellow soft synthetic brush. Hurdle races are usually run over a minimal distance of 2 800 metres. Victoria and South Australia are the only two states in Australia that conduct jumping races.
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Thoroughbred horse racing is a sport and industry involving the racing and hound racing of Thoroughbred horses. It is governed by different national bodies. There are two forms of the sport: flat racing and jump racing, called National Hunt racing in the UK and steeplechasing in the US. Jump racing can be further divided into hurdling and steeplechasing.
In horse racing in the United Kingdom, France and the Republic of Ireland, National Hunt racing requires horses to jump fences and ditches. National Hunt racing in the UK is informally known as "jumps" and is divided into two major distinct branches: hurdles and steeplechases. Alongside these there are "bumpers", which are National Hunt flat races. In a hurdles race, the horses jump over obstacles called hurdles; in a steeplechase the horses jump over a variety of obstacles that can include plain fences, water jump or an open ditch. In the UK the biggest National Hunt events of the year are generally considered to be the Grand National and the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Aintree Racecourse is a racecourse in Aintree, Metropolitan Borough of Sefton, Merseyside, England, bordering the city of Liverpool. The racecourse is best known for annually holding the world-famous Grand National steeplechase.
Leicester Racecourse is a horse racing course in Oadby, Leicestershire, about three miles south of the city centre.
National Hunt Flat races, informally known as bumper races, are a type of Flat racing but run under National Hunt racing rules in Britain and Ireland.
A steeplechase is a distance horse race in which competitors are required to jump diverse fence and ditch obstacles. Steeplechasing is primarily conducted in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Canada, United States, Australia and France. The name is derived from early races in which orientation of the course was by reference to a church steeple, jumping fences and ditches and generally traversing the many intervening obstacles in the countryside.
Sedgefield Racecourse is an English horse racing course located south of the city of Durham, close to the town of Sedgefield, owned by Arena Racing Company. It is a left-handed course, used for jump racing only. The finishing straight is about three furlongs in length, with a steep descent followed by a climb to the winning post after the last fence. There are 20 fixtures in the 2016 season, with meetings in every month except June and July. It is also used as a venue for numerous other indoor and outdoor events, such as weddings and conferences. The course was almost shut down three times in the 20th century.
The 1845 Grand Liverpool Steeplechase was the seventh annual running of a Handicap Steeple-chase, later to become known as the Grand National Steeplechase, a horse race which took place at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool on Wednesday 5 March 1845 and attracted a field of 15 runners. It was won by the unconsidered outsider Cure-All, ridden by William Loft in a record time of 10 minutes, 47 seconds.
Various obstacles are found in competitive sports involving horse jumping. These include show jumping, hunter, and the cross-country phase of the equestrian discipline of eventing. The size and type of obstacles vary depending on the course and the level of the horse and rider, but all horses must successfully negotiate these obstacles in order to complete a competition. Fences used in hunter and eventing are generally made to look relatively rustic and natural.
War Of Attrition is a retired National Hunt racehorse and winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2006.
Mr Mulligan was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse. He was a specialist steeplechaser who ran twelve times and won seven races under National Hunt rules. After mixed success in Point-to-point, Mr Mulligan rose to prominence by winning five successive races of increasing importance in the 1995/1996 National Hunt season. He became known for his front-running style and occasionally erratic jumping. In the following year he appeared to have lost his form before recording an upset win over a strong field in the 1997 Cheltenham Gold Cup. He was retired after being injured in training in 1998. Eighteen months later he died after being injured in a paddock accident.
Imperial Call was an Irish racehorse. He was a specialist steeplechaser who ran thirty-two times and won sixteen races under National Hunt rules. After showing promise as a hurdler and novice chaser, Imperial Call emerged as a top-class jumper with a win in the Hennessy Gold Cup in February 1996. A month later, he became the first Irish-trained horse for ten years to win Britain's most prestigious steeplechase, the Cheltenham Gold Cup. His subsequent career was disrupted by injury problems but he won further major races including the Punchestown Chase in 1998 and the Punchestown Gold Cup in 1999. Unlike most modern racehorses, Imperial Call was not a Thoroughbred.
Barton was a British racehorse of Thoroughbred and Anglo-Arabian ancestry who competed in National Hunt racing. In a racing career which lasted from October 1997 until November 2003 he won fourteen of his twenty-six races. He had his greatest success in the 1998/1999 National Hunt season when he dominated the novice hurdle division in Britain, winning all seven of his races including the Classic Novices' Hurdle, Winter Novices' Hurdle, River Don Novices' Hurdle, Royal & SunAlliance Novices' Hurdle and Mersey Novices' Hurdle. After missing the next season he returned to win the Fighting Fifth Hurdle and the Aintree Hurdle, easily defeating Best Mate in the latter race. When switched to steeplechasing he won the Dipper Novices' Chase and the Mildmay Novices' Chase but was never as effective as he had been over hurdles.
Lord Windermere is an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse who competes in National Hunt racing. He is a successful steeplechaser, winning the RSA Chase in 2013 and the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2014.
Oscar Whisky was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse who competed in National Hunt racing. In his early career he showed promise, winning two National Hunt Flat races and two novice hurdles. In the 2010/2011 National Hunt season he emerged as one of the leading hurdlers in the British Isles, winning the Welsh Champion Hurdle and the Aintree Hurdle as well as finishing third behind Hurricane Fly in the Champion Hurdle. In the following season he won the Relkeel Hurdle and a second Aintree Hurdle. He won the Ascot Hurdle and a second Relkeel Hurdle in 2012/2013 before being moved up to compete in steeplechases in the following season when he won the Dipper Novices' Chase and the Scilly Isles Novices' Chase. Oscar Whisky was fatally injured in a fall at Sandown Park Racecourse on 6 December 2014.
The Betfair Stayers' Handicap Hurdle is a Grade 3 National Hunt hurdle race in Great Britain which is open to horses aged four years or older. It is run at Haydock Park over a distance of about 3 miles and half a furlongs. It is a handicap race, and it is scheduled to take place each year in November.
Un de Sceaux is a French-bred AQPS racehorse who completed in National Hunt racing. After winning both his races in France he was transferred to Ireland where he won two novice hurdles. In the 2013/14 National Hunt season he was undefeated in five races including the Red Mills Trial Hurdle in Ireland and both the Prix Hypothese and the Prix Leon Rambaud in France. When switched to steeplechases he recovered from a fall on his debut to win the Arkle Novice Chase, Arkle Challenge Trophy and Ryanair Novice Chase in the 2014-15 season. In 2015-16 he won the Clarence House Chase but was beaten by Sprinter Sacre when favourite for the Queen Mother Champion Chase in what was his first defeat when completing a steeplechase. He began the 2016-17 with a win in the Tingle Creek Chase and followed up with his second victory in the Clarence House Chase before taking the Ryanair Chase in March. In 2018 Un de Sceaux became the first horse in history to win three Clarence House chases but was disappointed in Cheltenham by Balko des Flos when attempting to regain his Ryanair crown. He finished the season on a high by winning the devenish chase at Fairyhouse before surprising his stablemate Douvan at Punchestown under Patrick Mullins. At this stage of his career Un de Sceaux has won 9 Grade ones and has earned over 1,300,000 in prize money.
Bacchanal was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse who competed in National Hunt racing. He was lightly-raced, winning ten of his twenty races between January 1999 and January 2003. As a novice hurdler he won two of his four races and in the following season he won the Gerry Feilden Hurdle before recording his biggest win in the Stayers' Hurdle. He later developed into a top class steeplechaser, winning the Feltham Novices' Chase, Reynoldstown Novices' Chase and Aon Chase and twice finishing third in the King George VI Chase. He returned to hurdles to win the Long Distance Hurdle in 2002, but was killed in a fall at Cheltenham in January 2003.
Altior is an Irish-bred British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse who competes in National Hunt races. After winning one of his three National Hunt Flat races he was unbeaten in five hurdle races including the Sharp Novices' Hurdle and Supreme Novices' Hurdle. In the 2016/2017 National Hunt season he won six consecutive steeplechases including the Henry VIII Novices' Chase, Wayward Lad Novices' Chase, Game Spirit Chase, Arkle Challenge Trophy and the Celebration Chase.
Sizing John is a British-bred, Irish trained thoroughbred racehorse who competes in National Hunt racing. He is trained by Jessica Harrington and owned by Ann and Alan Potts, and is best known for winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2017. He has been ridden in most of his races by Jonathon Burke, but has more recently been ridden Robbie Power, including all four of his Grade 1 wins over fences. He also won a Grade 1 over Hurdles, the Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown in 2014, and spent much of his early chasing career finishing second or third in races won by Douvan, widely regarded as one of the best chasers of recent times.