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A Horse Race is a Thrilling Spectacle of Speed and Stamina

horse race

A horse race is a contest of speed or stamina between two horses and their jockeys. It is one of the oldest of all sports and has developed from a primitive diversion into a massive, public-entertainment business that generates enormous sums of money. It has also evolved into a sophisticated sport with electronic monitoring equipment and high stakes, but its essential feature remains the same: the horse that crosses the finish line first is the winner. In recent years, horse racing has experienced technological advances like thermal imaging cameras that detect heat stress in horses post-race and MRI scanners, endoscopes, and 3D printing that produce casts and splints for injured or ill horses.

However, behind the romanticized façade of Thoroughbred horse races is a world of injuries, drug abuse, gruesome breakdowns, and slaughter. While spectators put on their fancy outfits and sip mint juleps, horses run for their lives—and often break down under the pressure of their trainers’ whips or are forced to go beyond their physical limits, at speeds that cause them to bleed from their lungs (exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage).

During this time, the horse’s arytenoid cartilages elevate to open the larynx, creating a whistling sound when the horse inhales. In most cases, this condition is temporary and will resolve itself as the horse recovers from exercise. However, in severe cases of roaring, a surgery called tie-back surgery is performed to permanently fix the problem.

While horses in horse races are often subjected to gruesome conditions, they are still able to perform amazing feats of athleticism that capture the hearts of spectators and viewers around the world. While some people criticize the practice of racing horses, saying it is inhumane or corrupted by doping and overbreeding, others believe that the “Sport of Kings” deserves its reputation as a thrilling spectacle of power and grace.

In addition to the hypnotic beauty of horses running, spectators are enthralled by the sound of a horse’s hooves striking the ground as it runs and by the jockeys’ frantic whipping of the animal. A growing body of research has shown that when journalists cover elections by framing them as a horse race, using opinion polls to determine the winners and losers, voters, candidates and the news industry itself suffers.

The study of this phenomenon, known as horse race reporting, has become an academic discipline in itself. A number of peer-reviewed studies have found that when reporters focus on the winner and loser of an election, instead of discussing policy issues, the outcome is distorted and democratic processes are undermined. Media scholars have been studying this phenomenon for decades to better understand how this type of journalism influences the outcomes of elections. A new collection of research —published in September 2019 by a team led by Patterson —is the latest in this line of work.

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