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Horse Racing Tracks Around The World
The image of horse racing differs in different part of the globe and so do the nature of horse racing tracks. Horse racing is gambling and gambling has always had a disreputable image associated with it which is why horse racing tracks, if they are to survive and prosper (many do not), need the support of the community in which they are located to establish their reputation and standing.
Horse racing has a history going back to the dawn of civilization but modern horse racing has its roots in Europe where the traditions and customs that are part of the tracks are as important as the races themselves. No where is this more true than in the U.K. where horse racing is part of the culture and where events like the Royal Ascot are important events in the social calendar. Because of the interest that British royalty has taken in horse racing, it became known as the “Sport of Kings” and many of the racing tracks in the country are gathering places for the rich and famous.
In America horse racing is a big business and in order to draw in large crowds, horse racing tracks now offer far more than just racing. Serious gambling does occur but horse racing tracks are now venues for the family to spend a day out and there are range of entertainment options available to keep those who are not so interested in the races occupied while the serious punters focus on the racing. Large video screens for instant replays of close finishes, slot machines, arcade games and a range of eating options and even picnic grounds all come together to make American horse racing tracks multidimensional entertainment venues.
New race venues like Dubai have become extremely popular over the last few years and have encouraged the spread of the sport. Using the vast financial resources available, Dubai has created one of the most extravagant horse racing tracks in the world and while huge amounts of money are bet on the races, they are more often seen as places where the international glitterati meet and party. Dubai and other such newer venues may not have the long racing traditions that American and European horse racing tracks do, but they make up for this by the state of the art facilities and huge purses which ensure that the best jockeys and horses in the world race there. Asian horse racing tracks are determined not to be left behind and are using both their new found wealth and the technological innovation the region is known for, they create state of the art horse racing tracks that offer everything from air conditioned stables to synthetic turf.
But irrespective of the location of the track, to succeed as a racing venue any horse racing track needs to be designed in a way that the course itself offers opportunities for great racing.