Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Navigate Up
Sign In

Racing Glossary

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
A
Age

The age of a horse, regardless of date of birth, is reckoned from 1 August each year for horses from the Southern Hemisphere and 1 January for horses from the Northern Hemisphere.


All Clear

The signal that all jockeys have weighed in correctly after the race and no objection has been lodged and payout can commence


Allowances

Reductions in weights to be carried, allowed because an apprentice jockey is on a horse. Also, a weight reduction female horse is entitled to when racing against males, or that three-year-olds receive against older horses.


Apprentice

A rider who has not ridden a certain number of winners within a specified period of time.


 
B
Bandage

These are used for support, or for protection against injury, when horses are exercised, transported or during a race.


Barrier

A set of gates which is used to keep horses in line before the start of a race. Each horse has a barrier allocated in the barrier draw for the race.


Baulked

Race incident, hampered in running


Bit

A bar (usually made of stainless steel) which sits in the horse's mouth and is attached to the bridle. It is attached to the reins, jockeys use the reins and bit to steer and control the horse by applying pressure to the reins.


Bled/Bleeder

When blood appears at nostrils of a horse unusually after exertion.


Blindfold

Hood on head to assist loading into Barriers


Blinkers

Used to limit a horse's vision to prevent the horse from reacting to incidents during a race and to generally improve concentration.


Breast Girth

A strap fitted to the girth on both sides of the horse to prevent the saddle slipping downwards.


Breast Plate

A loop fitted round a horse's neck to prevent the saddle slipping downwards.


Bridle

The equipment used on the horse's head, it includes the bit and the reins and is usually made of leather or PVC.


Broken-Down

When a horse has a serious injury that will prevent it racing (temporarily or permanently), usually of the legs.


Broodmare

A female horse used to produce foals.


 
C
Checked

When a horse's path is blocked, causing it to change stride, slow down or change direction.


Cheekers

Rubber attachments to a bridle to prevent the bit slipping through a horse's mouth.


Clerk of Scales

An official whose chief duty is to weigh the riders before and after a race to ensure proper weight is carried.


Clipped heels

When a horse clips the heels of a leader and stumbles.


Colours

The colours (silks) worn by the jockey in a race.


Colt

An entire male horse under four years of age.


 
D
Dam

The mother of a horse.


Dead Heat

When two or more horses tie for any placing.


Dipped

A race incident less severe than a stumble.


Dope

Circumstance where a horse is tested positive for a prohibited substance.


Drench

The administration of fluids through the nostril of a horse.


 
E
Earmuffs

A piece of equipment that covers a horse's ears to prevent it from hearing distracting sounds.


Ease

A race incident less severe than checked.


Entire

Any male horse with both testicles in the scrotum (a colt or stallion).


 
F
Faltered

A race incident less severe than stumble.


Farrier

A person who shoes horses.


Favorite

The horse that has the most bets on it in a given race.


Filly

A female horse under four years of age.


Fly-jumped

A race incident, usually when rearing at start


Furlong

measure of races until the introduction of metrics in 1972. A furlong is 220 yards, which is about 200metres.


 
G
Gait

Walk, trot, canter or gallop


Gelding

A male horse with both testicles removed. Horses are gelded to prevent them becoming too heavy and to moderate their behaviour.


Girth

A band of leather or synthetic material, used to secure the saddle to the horse's back that goes under the belly of the horse.


Going

State of the track from Good to Heavy.


Green

When a horse races erratically, usually from inexperience.


 
H
Hampered

A race incident as in baulked for run.


Hand

A unit of measure used to determine the height of a horse. A hand is about 10cm, with the horse being measured from the the ground to the highest point of the wither (ridge between the shoulder bones). Most thoroughbreds are around 16 hands.


Handicap

A race in which the weights to be carried by the horses entered are adjusted by the Handicapper for the purpose of equalising their chances of winning.


Hands and Heels

An action of a jockey to encourage a horse to improve but without drawing the whip


Hanging (In or Out)

A action of a horse, wanting to shift off a straight course (not running straight).


 
I
Inquiry

Reviewing the race to check into a possible infraction of the rules. If lodged by a jockey, it's called an objection


Irons

Better known as stirrups. Combined with the reins, stirrups provide the jockey with the leverage to control a horse.


 
J
Jockey Fee

Sum paid to jockey for ridding in a race.


 
K
 
L
Leads

If jockeys are too light to make the weight allotted to a horse, they make up the difference between their weight and that which has to be carried by putting thin slabs of lead in the pockets of the saddle, or in a special bag under a saddle.


Length

A measurement used to describe the distance at the finish between horses in a race.


Lugging-Bit

A bit with a metal ring attached to give the jockey more control, especially with a horse that hangs.


 
M
Maiden Race

A race restricted to horses which at the time of starting have never won a race.


Mare

A female horse four years old or older.


Mud Lark

A horse that runs well on heavy going (rain-affected) tracks.


 
N
Near Side

Left side of a horse from which the horse is always approached, led and mounted.


Nose band

A leather strap that goes over the bridge of a horse's nose to help secure the bridle.


 
O
 
P
Pacifiers

Meshed eye-covers used to calm horses down.


Parade Ring

A place where the horses are paraded in numerical order prior to each race and jockeys are issued with instructions from trainers and mount their horses.


Photo finish

A result so close it is necessary to use the finish-line camera to determine the order of finish.


Plates

Racing horse shoes made of light metal alloy and secured to the hooves of a horse by nails.


 
Q
 
R
 
S
Saddles

Seat made of leather or other material, for a jockey on a horse.


Scratching

Withdrawal of a horse from its engagement in a race.


Shadow Roll

Generally a roll of synthetic material secured over a horse's nose to prevent him from looking down and being spooked by its own shadow.


Sire

A father of a horse.


Starter

Official responsible for ensuring a fair start for a race. The starter supervises the loading of horses into the starting gate through a gate crew. He also controls the opening of the gate.


Stewards

Officials of the race meeting responsible for enforcing the rules of racing.


Switched (in or out)

Changing course.


Syces

Grooms or stable staff.


 
T
Tongue Tie

A strap or piece of stocking used to tie down a horse's tongue to prevent the tongue getting over the bit.


 
U
 
V
 
W
Weighing In

Weighing of jockeys with their saddles after the running of a race to ensure they have complied with their allocated weight in a race.


Weighing Out

Weighing of jockeys with their saddles before the start of a race.


Weight-For-Age

A race in which weights are allocated to horses according to their age or sex or both, and remains a Weight for Age race even if there are penalties and allowances; or the race is confined to horses of the same age. Female horses can receive an allowance.


 
X
 
Y
 
Z