Horse races are sporting events in which horses ridden by jockeys compete over an set distance over various length courses. The winner of each race is determined by being first to cross a finish line – typically an white line painted onto the track surface – at which they cross first.
Starting gates are opened, and horses enter through their own individual gates located horizontally across the track at designated points. When racing begins, horses strive for both an early start while conserving energy for what is known as the home stretch – jockeys guide their horses so as to maximize each horse’s chances of victory.
Mathematicians like Aftalion use trackers to gain an understanding of horse races. By analyzing data from these trackers, Aftalion and her team at EHESS discovered certain strategies for winning races; their model shows these are maximized muscle output using two pathways – aerobic which requires oxygen but quickly exhausts itself, and anaerobic which produces waste products leading to fatigue.
Many horses are subjected to excruciating physical strain from performance or an injury and eventually succumb to it, with injuries being an everyday occurrence as are drugs designed to mask injuries or boost performance; furthermore some horses suffer exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage which may prove fatal.
While the industry is filled with criminals who drug their horses illegally and allow such behavior from agents, there are also dupes who believe the sport to be predominantly fair and honest. There are also honorable souls who know it’s unfair but still fail to take steps towards cleaning it up.