Since I have been off work most the week with a horrible stomach bug, I have been sitting around watching lots of TV. And since the rest of the family are at school, work or running errands, I have had total control of the remote! I have made the most of this freedom by watching hours or Horse & Country and today sitting down with the racing at Cheltenham.
This is the first time this season I have properly sat down to watch some jump racing and as the title of this post suggests, it has reminded me just why I love Jump Racing and I thought since I’m sickly with not a huge amount I’m able to do, I would share these reasons with you.
- The Excitement!
I’m sure most people will agree that jump racing is more exciting than flat racing, probably due to the fact that there is so much more involved which can alter the results throughout the race.
- The Class
Because the races tend to be much longer than your typical flat race, stamina is much more important and the field becomes much more spread out. This means that you can see horses win in truly brilliant style 20+ lengths ahead of everything else, which you just don’t see often in flat racing.
- The Welfare and Training
I personally think that as a general rule, national hunt horses have a better quality of life than flat racing horses. They are more likely to get turn out than a flat horse and typically aren’t broken and raced until they are 3/4.
- The Community
Because there is less money in the national hunt world compared to the flat racing world, there is a lot more diversity in owners and trainers, even at top races. A perfect example of this was the Welsh horse Dream Alliance, who was bred and owned by a mining community and won the Welsh National.
- The Reality is Safer than the Expectation
Thanks to the non-horsey media coverage of national hunt racing in the UK, many people are led to believe that the majority of horses in every race have horrible, life ending falls. This simply isn’t the case. As a general rule, I see more horse falls watching the cross country at Badminton or Burghley than I do at your typical National Hunt race meeting.
- Potential After Racing
Finally, I just prefer national hunt horses. They tend to be a bit bigger and stronger built than flat horses. This combined with the fact that they tend to be saner and have seen a lot more than your typical flat horse, in my mind makes them the more desirable choice as an ex racehorse.