About sk horse racing
Saskatchewan horse racing takes place mainly - although not exclusively - at Marquis Downs in Saskatoon. There, hundreds of racehorses reside on the "backstretch" throughout the racing season.
what actually goes on at the track?
Although live racing begins in June, the racehorses make their way to the track much earlier, in April, to begin training.
In order to get into racing shape, each racehorse needs to do quite a lot of exercise. In the spring, each horse is taken onto the track for a controlled 'gallop' about five days a week in order to allow the horse to build up the proper muscles and overall fitness that will be required later on in the season.
Here, the word "gallop" should not be confused with full-out running, which needs to be slowly worked up to.
After about 60 days' worth of galloping, the horse may be allowed to 'work'. This is where all of the previous days of galloping really come together. The horse is allowed to stretch out for a pre-determined distance, and the time in which it takes to complete this exercise is recorded. A racehorse must have at least one recorded workout at a specific distance before it is allowed to race at the beginning of any given year, which ensures that the horse is fit enough to race.
the trainer's roll
A trainer carries great responsibility. They are responsible for their horses' training schedule, feeding regimen, and health and wellbeing. They must coordinate with the riders to ensure that each horse gets taken onto the track on the correct day(s), that they go the correct distances, coordinate workouts, enter horses into the correct races. They must also be in contact with feed supply companies, farriers (for shoeing), and the owners who own the racehorse(s) that they train.
daily maintenance and care
The trainers at the track are in charge of their racehorses' wellbeing. Some people hire workers, called "grooms" to take care of the horses under their charge.
A grooms' job is endless. They must feed the horses in the morning before training, brush them, tack them up and make sure that they are ready for training before the rider gets to the barn. While the horse is on the track, they must clean out the horse's stall, replace the bedding and water, and provide it with fresh hay. After the horse comes back from the track, they must bath the horse and walk it so that it may cool down from its exercise.
After the morning training session, they are responsible for taking care of the horses' physical as well as mental health through more brushing, treating any injuries such as small cuts, and wrapping the horses' legs to help their muscles recover from their exercise.
This section is under construction. More to come.