Horse Racing Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Angela Burke

Angela has over ten years of teaching experience in Special Education, classroom teaching and GT. She has a master's degree in Special Ed with an emphasis in Gifted.

Horse racing is a very old sport followed by fans around the world. In this lesson, find out where race horses came from, and discover the names of the most important and respected races.

Born to Run

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to sleep both standing up and lying down? Believe it or not, horses can do this!

Horses are also fast runners. The fastest speed recorded for a horse was 55 miles per hour (mph). Even the fastest humans can only run about 28 mph. Horses were born to run, and horse racing - one of the world's oldest sports - can be traced back to the chariot races of the Roman Empire.

Horse racing is an equestrian sport (pronounced ih-kwes-tree-uh-n) where two or more horses and their riders take part in a race. Let's find out more about horse racing.

Arabian Racehorses

If you've seen the Disney movie Aladdin, you may know that it is set in the Arabian Desert. Ancient Arabia is now present-day Saudi Arabia in the Middle East. It is here that a wandering people called the Bedouins (pronounced bed-oo-ins) bred and raced these mystical horses nearly 3,500 years ago. Arabian horses were eventually brought to England and France.

Thoroughbred horses are known for their speed.

Today, purebred racehorses called thoroughbreds are the descendants of Arabian horses. They are known for their speed, jumping ability and loyalty.

Triple Crown Champs

What do you think the chances are of one horse winning all three of the biggest horse races of the season? The Triple Crown consists of three races, all held in America. They include the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes and are open to horses that are at least three years old. If a horse can win all three of these races in the same year, he or she is awarded the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing!

A horse named Sir Barton was the first Triple Crown winner.
Sir Barton

In nearly 100 years of racing, only 12 horses have won the Triple Crown. The first horse to win was Sir Barton in 1919; American Pharaoh won in 2015.

Horse racing is not only popular in America but also throughout the world. Important races take place in England, France, Dubai and Australia, to name just a few countries.

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