Glossary

horseracingglossary

Abandoned

A race which had to be cancelled.

Allowance

In handicapped races, horses ridden by inexperienced jockeys have their allocated weight reduced to compensate for the rider's lack of experience.

Reductions can also be made for females racing against males and for older horses racing against younger ones.

Banker

A horse that is in top form, so is more likely to get a very good result in the race.

Barrier/Tape

Starting method used primarily in steeplechasing.

Blinkers

Tools to reduce the field of view of the horse and increase its concentration.

Bottom Weight

The horse which has the lowest handicap in the race (the horse must carry the least weight during the race).

Box

A small room in a stable where horses are kept.

Breaking

A period during which the horse is trained.

Canter

The canter is a warm-up galloping for horses and their jockey before the race. The expression to win at a canter means winning a race without any special effort.

Classic

Event reserved for horses aged at least three years and of variable distance.

Classic Horse

Refers to a horse competing in classic (group 1) races.

Colours

The colours are the colours of horse owner, they stay the same regardless of the jockey or the horse.

Colt

Young male horse, up to the age of three years. From its first birthday to its second, it is a yearling.

Commitment

Registering a horse in a race.

Coupled Entry (or Coupled Horses)

Two horses belonging to the same owner and racing in the same race.

Crack

A crack is a very strong horse who has won a large number of races.

Dead Heat

When two (or more) horses cross the line at exactly the same time.

Distance

Distance between two horses at the finishing line (nose, neck, head, length ...).

Downgrade

In case of disorder between horses, the Commissioner reserves the right to change the order of the horses is to demote some.

Downgraded

A horse which, at first sight, appears to be facing inferior opposition.

Enquiry

Investigation into the behaviour of a horse during a race or a performance audit by the Commissioner. An investigation may be made spontaneously or at the request of a runner.

Fault

Mishap made by a horse, such as a bad fall or an ill-judged jump.

Flyer

Horse performing well on short-distance races.

Handicap

Weight assigned to horses based on their performance in previous races, handicaps can be close races.

Hurdler

Refers to a horse trained for hurdles.

Jockey

Horse's rider.

Lad

Person who looks after a horse and makes sure it has everything it needs.

Lengthener

A horse running in a race which is longer than its usual distances.

Listed

A race for good horse, which is just below the standard of the group races.

Maiden

Refers to a horse who has never won a race.

Miler

Refers to a horse who has been trained to run in races where the distance is close to a mile, or about 1600 meters.

Non-runner

Refers to a horse which is registered for a race, but which does not participate.

Novice

Refers to a horse who is new to a race.

Orders

Strategy to be adopted during the race, this strategy is given to jockey by the trainer before the race.

Penetrometer

Tool to estimate the condition of the course.

Photo finish

When a photograph taken at the finishing line is used to judge the winning horse after a very close race.

Placed

Said of a horse that finishes the race 1st, 2nd or 3rd.

Pounds

A slang term for handicap.

Race card

A list of results achieved by a horse in the last races in which it participated.

Race conditions

Prerequisites for a horse to participate in a race, for example, age, gender, number of wins...

Race Meeting

All races taking place on the same racetrack on the same day.

Racing Group

Classification of races, group 1 race is a very famous race, a group 2 race, a little less famous and so on.

Railings

Racecourse boundaries.

Ring or Paddock

Where the horses are shown before the race.

Selling Race

A race where the winner is sold by auction immediately afterwards.

Silks

Colours worn by a jockey to show the horse's owner.

Sprinters

Very fast horses trained to race short distances.

Steward

Official who oversees the progress of the race and enforces the rules.

Stewards' Announcement

Announcement confirming the end of the control period at the start and end of a race.

Stallion

Male horse which is mainly used for breeding.

Stud farm

Places reserved for breeding horses.

Stubborn

Refers to a horse which is difficult to train.

Stack

A player's total number of chips.

Stalls

Compartments in which the horses come to line up before the start of a race. The boxes are aligned and all open at the same time. These stalls are only used for flat racing.

Starter

Person responsible for managing the start of the race.

Stayer

Refers to a horse which has been trained to gallop and excels over long distances.

Steeplechase

A course including hedges or hurdles and water jumps.

Surcharge

Another word for handicap.

Tack

The horse's equipment.

Top Weight

Refers to the horse which carries the most weight in the race.

Trainer

The trainer is responsible for the physical and mental preparation of the horse.

"Under (starter's orders)"

Ready to start.

Weigh in/out

The jockey is weighed with his/her full equipment before and after the race.

Weighing Room

The place where the horses are weighed before and after the race.

Whip

A tool to encourage the horse.