One of the reasons why horse racing is such an expensive business is because of the facilities needed by owners and race organizers.
Horse racing needs more than just a horse and a jockey. There are many expenses to be paid by horse owners and organizations alike. One of these includes facilities. Infrastructure in thoroughbred horse racing is simple enough to understand. Here are the types of facilities used in the horse racing industry:
The farm is the home of the horse. This is the headquarters or one of the properties of the company that owns the horse. A farm should include stables to provide horses shelter, bedding, and food. Farms should also have wide spaces to allow horses to freely roam or so the stablehand can continue their training.
It is common for a farm to have many horses participating in local horse racing events. It is also usual for two horses from the same company to contend in the same bracket. This practice does increase their chances of winning first place but it also means more expenses.
The training centre is where horses are brought to train. This facility will have a large oval track. This is where horses gallop around to simulate a standard race distance. Training centres also have pool tracks where horses are trained to gallop underwater. There are no separate training centres for foals and veteran racers. They share the same facilities so the trainer doesn’t have to travel far.
The training centre also shares a building with the veterinarian clinic. They are in charge of scanning and tending to the foals in training. They are also in charge of sanitation with the help of stable hands. Sharing the same plot of land helps the clinic staff monitor the horse’s health and statistics.
The stadium is also known as the arena. This is the place where horse races are held. Every stadium in Japan can hold up to 12 races per day. The most active among the JRA’s stadiums are known as the Big Four: Tokyo, Nakayama, Hanshin, and Kyoto. These four stadiums host most of the nation’s G1 events.
Stadiums usually have three race tracks. They are often referred to as inner and outer oval while the middle one is often referred to as the dirt lane because of the type of surface it has. The other two are always turf.
Finally, the breeding farms are the first and last facility that a thoroughbred horse visits in its lifetime. Breeding farms are places where studs and broodmares are assisted in mating. Horses often need help during the process. Oftentimes, the male is smaller than the female so they need assistance in aligning the organs. It often involves looking for ways to elevate the male.
It is common practice in the local horse racing industry to auction foals or stored semen. This builds a good relationship between Japan and other countries. Sharing amazing horse bloodlines ensures that future generations of horses are competitive.