By Emma Reed
5 Horse Races Across the Globe With the Biggest Prize Pots
Horse racing is one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious sports with many events taking place across the globe. Not coincidentally, two of the biggest horse races in the world — the Grand National and Royal Ascot — are held here in the UK, where the sport has a centuries-old tradition. But they are just two of the biggest races worldwide. In this article we will cover 5 races in the world with some of the biggest prize pots for the winners.
The Grand National
The Grand National, first run in 1839, is steeped in tradition, and is held at the iconic Aintree Racetrack. In a BBC primer of last year’s Grand National, the news site details how over 600 million people worldwide watch the three-day event, with an additional 150,000 or so, on average, attending live. There is much at stake, too, as the prize fund is approximately $1.3 million (£1 million). This race is so well-known that even its fences have recognisable names, like The Chair and Canal Turn.
The Royal Ascot is literally an event for royalty, as members of the British Royal Family grace the Ascot Racecourse in horse-drawn carriages. It is also much bigger and more prestigious than the Grand National, as it offers a prize pot of around $9.5 million (£7.3 million), and regularly welcomes over 300,000 attending fans, on average. Put simply, the Royal Ascot gives justice to the sport of kings.
Dubai World Cup
Dubai is a city of excess, and the Dubai World Cup is proof of this. Horse racing expert Ben Church describes it as a spectacle, and one that has put Dubai on the horse racing map since 1996. It has become so big that it regularly attracts global pop superstars, like Jennifer Lopez and Kylie Minogue, as performers. The prize purse, unsurprisingly, is eye-popping: around $13 million (£9.9 million). This makes the Dubai World Cup one of the richest in the world, and an embodiment of Dubai’s excesses.
The Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs is famous worldwide, while also being one of the defining features of the state of Kentucky in the U.S. In a Sandlot Games overview of American sports betting, the digital gaming magazine notes how horse racing is very much attached to Kentucky’s identity. This is largely due to the Kentucky Derby’s immense popularity, as well as its long history dating back to 1875. It is, not to mention, the biggest of the famed Triple Crown, with its $3 million (£2.5 million) prize fund. It has become such an indelible part of American culture that even non horse-racing fans know about it.
Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is the Grand National of France: popular, prestigious, and with lots of history. It was first run in 1920, and has since become a must-watch sporting event in Europe. It takes place at the Longchamp Racecourse in Paris, and has a prize purse of around $5.6 million (£4.3 million), making it the richest flat race on turf. Needless to say, it’s another convincing reason to visit the City of Love.
We do hope you get to experience a horse race at least once in your life, as they truly are a one of a kind experience whether you are a seasoned rider or new to the sport. For those who are new to horses, make sure you read our post entitled ‘How to Start Horse Riding’, where we give tips on the basic do’s and don’ts. Who knows maybe one day we will see you at the races.