List of Horse Racing Sports A-Z

List of Horse Racing Sports

Horse racing sports are thrilling events that can captivate audiences and athletes alike. From the Kentucky Derby to the Melbourne Cup, horse races draw large audiences and put the athletic skill of both jockeys and horses to the test. Thoroughbreds are the most recognizable type of racing horse, though standardbreds also commonly run in harness races. 

Horse racing can be categorized into four main categories: flat racing, steeplechasing, harness racing, and cross-country endurance racing. Numerous horse racing sports fall within these categories, resulting in a wide range of equestrian sporting activities to choose from worldwide. Flat racing, perhaps the most popular type of horse racing spectator sport, is a speed-focused race on a flat shorter track about a mile long.  Steeplechase races are typically over a longer track and include jumps over obstacles such as fences or small pools of water. Harness racing involves a team of horses pulling a driver in a cart. Finally, endurance races are held over many miles. These races can stretch anywhere from 50 to a few hundred miles in total.  

Horse Racing Sports List A to Z

  • Barrel Racing
  • Chariot Racing
  • Chuckwagon Racing
  • Combined Driving
  • Cross-Country Equestrian
  • Point-To-Point
  • Pole Bending
  • Quarter-Horse Racing
  • Scurry Driving
  • Skijøring
  • Steeplechase (Horses)
  • Thoroughbred Racing


What are horse racing sports?

Horse racing is an equestrian sport in which jockeys racehorses to complete a course the fastest. The general types of races can be categorized into flat racing, steeplechasing, endurance, and harness racing. Thoroughbred horses, which tend to be taller, athletic, and slim in build, are the most common racehorses in fast-paced flat track racing. Standardbreds, which are shorter and more stout, have their own races and are often used in harness racing.

While horse racing as a sport is legal across the United States and most of the world, not all establishments are legally licensed. Unlicensed horse racing establishments may often give horses illegal drugs or run illegal gambling rings. Regulation of betting culture as a whole varies from state to state, with most states allowing online betting. Some countries, such as the United Arab Emirates or Singapore, ban gambling completely and subsequently forbid betting on horses. 

What are the origins of horse racing sports?

Horse racing has been a sport for as long as humans have domesticated and trained horses around the world. Ancient cultures across Europe and Asia had some variations of horse races from as far back as thousands of years ago, with some of the earliest recorded races taking place in the Olympic Games of 700 to 40 B.C. Modern horse racing with professional riders and specially bred horses took form in the latter half of the 1700s. 

Flat racing and steeplechase races are the most popular types of horse racing sports, attracting millions of spectators every year. The most famous sport within flat racing is thoroughbred racing, which is most famously on display in the highly anticipated Kentucky Derby. Flat racing is a speed-focused form of racing held over a flat track about a mile long. The Grand National of Great Britain is the most prestigious event for steeplechase racing, featuring jumps over fences and small pools of water.