Preserving an Important Horse Racing Tradition

One of the most endearing characteristics of horse racing is its honor of deep rooted traditions. The manner in which thoroughbreds are bred, trained and cared for, go back uncounted generations. Horse racing methods have not changed much either, though electronics, satellites and the Internet have revolutionized sports betting conventions.

The stamina of a horse, and its ability to traverse difficult terrain with indomitable courage, are legendary. Riding in a steeplechase calls for raw courage and rare skill as well, on the part of people who take active part in such events. Flat racing over relatively short distances is thrilling to the core, but it does not match the admiration one develops, at observing qualities of endurance, agility and coordination in a long distance event with challenging obstacles.

The National Hunt Chase has taken place in the U.K. for over 100 years now. Amateurs compete over a 4-mile course which has never been for the faint hearted, whether equestrian or human! The event has been a gem of the Cheltenham Festival for decades, and stands head and shoulders over much of the rest of the global horse racing calendar.

Accidents have marred horse racing at the Cheltenham Festival in the recent past, and 2006 has been an especially bad year until now. However, a searching enquiry by an expert group constituted by the British Horse Racing Regulatory Authority has just concluded that the National Hunt Chase can continue largely unchanged, as it has done for all these years.

Recommendations to reduce the difficulties in negotiating some of the obstacles in the race, and veterinary reviews of the conditions of horses declared for the event, are all to the good, and should serve to reverse the recent trend of unfortunate accidents. Amateurs will continue to have the occasion of this annual event to showcase their skills, and participating horses will thrive in the competitive environment as only their species can. The National Hunt Chase will retain its premier status, and horse racing lovers must welcome this gladdening piece of news!