Have you ever wondered what the horses are doing to get ready for the Queen’s Cup? While you are buying tickets, thinking about how good your tailgate is going to be this year, and wondering how big your hat is going to be, the stars of the show are being put through their paces to be ready to perform on the last Saturday of April.
We know it’s a party out here but the serious business of steeplechase horse racing is one of the most important parts of the day. Up to 40 horses will compete at the Queen’s Cup for $150,000 in purse money, and the folks whose livelihoods depend on winning races take it very seriously.
The official season is about 2 weeks away and horses up and down the east coast are beginning to get the finishing touches put on. The thoroughbred horse, when racing, is one of the most fit and most athletic animals out there. Their day to day routine is one of early mornings and high calorie feeds bookending some very hard gym sessions.
Horses will get their breakfast around 5.30am at most farms. They will be given 45 minutes to an hour to settle, then exercise starts. Their rider will get the tack on and rain, hail, or snow, they will go out and train. Training will involve a nice long warm up before the high intensity resistance training like galloping multiple times up a hill and then jumping 10-12 fences in a process known as schooling. Afterwards the horses are walked for up to 20 minutes to cool off and then they get a bath, a dry off, and back into their stalls for some well-deserved lunch. For some, they might get to go out into the field and relax for the afternoon, and for others, they may spend some time on a walking machine.
These horses are finely tuned and made ready for the moment we all get to see them. Their muscles are drum-tight and they love what they do.
Don’t miss them! Come out on April 28th for the greatest show on turf.
See you at the races.