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Horse racing vs car racing


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#1 kls

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 15:48


Dear Nostalgia Forum Users,

As a university educated cultural antropologist and the car racing fan (I was working in FIA GT4 Aston Martin racing team once, good old days..), I have been thinking lately about the similarities in the car racing and horse racing. The car racing looks like a development of the horse racing in the modern era to me. I was always fascinated in a way how the cultural patterns which satisfy people`s needs can evolve and adapt to new circumsatnces in the changing world. People have always been keen on racing, already in ancient Rome the racing business was thriving - Caligula made one of his winning horses a senator!. In car racing many of the vocabluary has been adopted from the horse racing. Would you say that the idea, the passion for these two satisfy the same need of humans? What are the differnces and similarities beetwen the two? look at the stories and legends about the horses, drivers,team owners the politics behind and characters involved would you see a similarities ,examples of people sharing interest in both disciplines?In general would you say the cultural pattern or spirt in these two sports is similar or different if the latter what would be the differences? Would you share the interest in both?
Disclaimer: I dont write an essay on it I just have seen the unfamous HBO series Luck http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1578887/ and was struck about the similarities... Thank you for your contribution

Best Regards
Martin



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#2 kayemod

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 17:52

I have been thinking lately about the similarities in the car racing and horse racing.


Unless horses stop two or three times during a race to be re-shod, I can't see many similarities at all. You might just as well compare horse racing with the Tour de France, or an event like the mens' 400 metre hurdles, all have a start and finish don't they?


#3 macoran

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 18:14

Unless horses stop two or three times during a race to be re-shod,

Good thing re-fuelling is out otherwise we'd have the water troughs and the hay bales in the pits to worry over as well

#4 Allan Lupton

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 18:18

When they built and set up the organisation at Brooklands they modelled it on horse racing.
The track had a finishing straight that was only to be used for the race finish, like some horse courses.
The officials had the same titles, the area where the cars were parked or worked on before and between races was called the paddock, for the first races the drivers wore different coloured clothes for identification and the handicapper added weight to equalise performance.

We have outgrown most of that except the nomenclature: we still have a paddock, the head of the race day organisation is still Clerk of the Course and the official who tries to equalise performance is still called a Handicapper although he allots time benefits to the slower cars rather than weight or other handicaps to the faster.
Oh and Brooklands always had on-course betting which for some reason seems to have disappeared in Europe. I'd expect that some of the races held in Asia would still have that, knowing how popular betting is in some of those countries.

Edited by Allan Lupton, 18 May 2012 - 18:18.


#5 Leigh Trevail

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 18:22

In the early days of motor racing cars were given names in the same way that horses are, the drivers wore silks in the colours of the cars owners and they assembled in the paddock; which is an equine term. Also; Brooklands had the bookmakers the same as in horse racing.

Edit. Not only did Allan beat me to it; he also made a better job of it!

Edited by Leigh Trevail, 18 May 2012 - 18:24.


#6 elansprint72

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 20:07

Neigh Lad, thee'll not draw me into this discussion.

#7 arttidesco

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 20:28

My grand father would probably whup my @ss for saying this but what is a horse ?

To borrow a phrase from Micheal Schumacher "What is exciting there ? I can't see that."

But seriously you are right the two forms of racing have parallels and fill similar needs in terms of humans endeavour to go faster and in some cases further than has ever been done before. But the chances of getting me to a horse race are about the same as getting me to the 'lympics, slim to none. Not being a gambling man I guess I am a machine head first and sports fan second.

#8 TimRTC

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 20:41

I have always wondered why horse racing, as opposed to car/bike/yacht etc racing is so associated with gambling. Whenever people talk of going to horse racing events they always talk about taking money to bet with, for motor racing such additions seem unnecessary. Is it that horse racing is simply not exciting enough?

#9 RS2000

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 20:56

As regards the main UK governing body in motorsport (it is not the only one, contrary to what it and the FIA would have us believe) we are still trapped in the era of unelected councils that are effectively exclusive clubs who can veto membership of its decision making committees for anyone who's face doesn't fit. Its administrators (the "paid help") too often appear to be the "tail wagging the dog" (or should that be horse...). The Jockey Club can sometimes seem more modern...

#10 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 22:45

Motorsport and horse racing are very similar.
Both have 4 contact patches with the track.
Both are driven by anorexic underweight drivers,Normally both only have a driver and no passengers.
Both use a standing start and the race to the first corner can be very strategic in race tactics.
Both cars and horses burn fuel for power.
Both have air intakes and exhausts.
Both cars and horses often have a mind of their own.
Both sports have a flat race version and an off road variants.
Both at times share the same venues.
Really the only real difference is the finish. The nags have a mirror and the cars just get a bloke wave a flag at them. Though the offroad variants even share that!

#11 DogEarred

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 06:31

Motorsport and horse racing are very similar.
Both have 4 contact patches with the track.
Both are driven by anorexic underweight drivers,Normally both only have a driver and no passengers.
Both use a standing start and the race to the first corner can be very strategic in race tactics.
Both cars and horses burn fuel for power.
Both have air intakes and exhausts.
Both cars and horses often have a mind of their own.
Both sports have a flat race version and an off road variants.
Both at times share the same venues.
Really the only real difference is the finish. The nags have a mirror and the cars just get a bloke wave a flag at them. Though the offroad variants even share that!



And hopefully, they all get their oats afterwards....

#12 Stephen W

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 08:03

Motorsport and horse racing are very similar.


Are you sure?

Both have 4 contact patches with the track. Not all the time
Both are driven by anorexic underweight drivers Frolian Gonzales being an exampleNormally both only have a driver and no passengers.So Stirling Moss won the Mille Miglia on his own?
Both use a standing start Ceratin races certainly buck that trend!and the race to the first corner can be very strategic in race tactics.
Both cars and horses burn fuel for power. But try running a car on oats!
Both have air intakes and exhausts. Granted
Both cars and horses often have a mind of their own. Sorry but cars do not have a brain like some drivers
Both sports have a flat race version and an off road variants.I believe there was even a race between a horse and a car over jumps!
Both at times share the same venues.But not at the same time!
Really the only real difference is the finish. The nags have a mirror and the cars just get a bloke wave a flag at them. Though the offroad variants even share that!Some of the current crop of drivers would prefer a mirror!



#13 D-Type

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 08:49

I have always wondered why horse racing, as opposed to car/bike/yacht etc racing is so associated with gambling. Whenever people talk of going to horse racing events they always talk about taking money to bet with, for motor racing such additions seem unnecessary. Is it that horse racing is simply not exciting enough?

About 50 years ago the daughter of a bookmaker once explained to me that "We don't gamble on men's lives". Apparently horses (eg Grand National) don't matter, but even then I've never known a bookie to run a book on "Which horse will be killed?"

#14 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 10:23

As the Tripoli race showed, race fixing might be more difficult to regulate with cars...



#15 kayemod

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 13:04

Apparently horses (eg Grand National) don't matter, but even then I've never known a bookie to run a book on "Which horse will be killed?"


There have been several cars over the years that should have been shot...


#16 johnthebridge

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 13:13

I really loathe horse racing and feel that it would never exist but for the betting. It's not called the sport of kings for nothing. Having said that, am I right in thinking that in terms of jockies killed and injured, to say nothing of the poor animals, it's far more dangerous than motor racing?

#17 DogEarred

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 13:25

There's quite a similarity to what comes out of the back of horses and what comes out of the mouth of Bernie Ecclestone sometimes...

#18 kayemod

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 13:41

There's quite a similarity to what comes out of the back of horses and what comes out of the mouth of Bernie Ecclestone sometimes...


Maybe, but you couldn't spread Bernie around your roses.


#19 Tim Murray

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 13:52

Maybe not, but I'd love to give it a try. :rotfl:

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#20 macoran

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 14:49

Both have air intakes and exhausts. Granted,nags exhausts don't blow constantly

#21 Sharman

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 14:52

I believe that there were bookies at Donington when the Mercs and Auto Unions visited. It appears that very good odds were offered on the German cars as the Turf Accountants were xenophobic about the Germans. They (the bookies) decamped after the first practice runs, never to be seen at motor races again.

#22 Allan Lupton

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 18:05

I was at Silverstone once when there was a bookie present. IIRC in the historic single-seater race Willie Green had had some sort of problem with the 250F in practice, easily fixed before the race but the bookie's odds were based on practice times as they knew little or nothing about the form.
It was said that Willie put a fiver on himself to win, which he did - as all of us in the timekeepers' box expected.
Had the bookie not been on the outside of the circuit, there'd have been some timekeepers' and handicappers' dosh on him too!

#23 arttidesco

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 02:09

I believe that there were bookies at Donington when the Mercs and Auto Unions visited. It appears that very good odds were offered on the German cars as the Turf Accountants were xenophobic about the Germans. They (the bookies) decamped after the first practice runs, never to be seen at motor races again.


I am not sure that is strictly true, I'm sure my dodgy memory recalls odds being given over the PA at a British GP at Silverstone in '79 or '81 with a suggestion that a bookie was present at the circuit.

#24 stuartbrs

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 03:27

Doesnt the word "pits" come from horse racing?

#25 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 04:24

I really loathe horse racing and feel that it would never exist but for the betting. It's not called the sport of kings for nothing. Having said that, am I right in thinking that in terms of jockies killed and injured, to say nothing of the poor animals, it's far more dangerous than motor racing?

Nothing wrong with horse racing. Not really my style but it is a sport well followed world wide that gives a lot of people pleasure,, and employment.
Dangerous yes, but horses race in every continent just about daily. Thehoses are bred to race, millions spent on breeding and bloodstock so the rubbish from the animal libbers is really rubbish.If they were not bred they would not exist, in fact the horse probably would be a threatened species.

#26 packapoo

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 06:09

University eddicated and can't spell. Says it all!

#27 D-Type

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 18:47

Doesnt the word "pits" come from horse racing?

I don't think so. I believe that in an early race the 'maintenance area' was on the same side of the road as the main grandstand. The mechanics were made to sit in pits in the ground so the paying spectators could see over them. But this may be an urban myth.

Edited by D-Type, 21 May 2012 - 07:39.


#28 TimRTC

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 07:33

Now I'm just trying to picture horse racing following motoring rules - safety horses, rolling (would that be cantering?) starts, pit stops (two mandatory horse shoe changes in a race) and marshalls trying to push horses out of gravel traps...

#29 kayemod

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 08:02

Now I'm just trying to picture horse racing following motoring rules - safety horses, rolling (would that be cantering?) starts, pit stops (two mandatory horse shoe changes in a race) and marshalls trying to push horses out of gravel traps...


They'd deploy the safety horse if one of the others left some kind of deposit on the course.

#30 David Shaw

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 08:17

Nothing wrong with horse racing. Not really my style but it is a sport well followed world wide that gives a lot of people pleasure,, and employment.
Dangerous yes, but horses race in every continent just about daily. Thehoses are bred to race, millions spent on breeding and bloodstock so the rubbish from the animal libbers is really rubbish.If they were not bred they would not exist, in fact the horse probably would be a threatened species.

IIRC horse racing is the fourth biggest 'industry' in Australia.

#31 willga

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 08:27

Motorsport and horse racing are very similar.
Both have 4 contact patches with the track.
Both are driven by anorexic underweight drivers,Normally both only have a driver and no passengers.
Both use a standing start and the race to the first corner can be very strategic in race tactics.
Both cars and horses burn fuel for power.
Both have air intakes and exhausts.
Both cars and horses often have a mind of their own.
Both sports have a flat race version and an off road variants.
Both at times share the same venues.
Really the only real difference is the finish. The nags have a mirror and the cars just get a bloke wave a flag at them. Though the offroad variants even share that!


At least I don't have to shoot my car when I get a puncture!

#32 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 08:37

Is that based on annual expenditure, including betting?

If so, I can well believe it.

#33 Allan Lupton

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 08:38

At least I don't have to shoot my car when I get a puncture!

If it's a BMW on run-flat tyres, and it's a Saturday evening, you may as well.

#34 DogEarred

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 09:31

Perhaps they could get the F1 HRTs to go a bit faster if they strapped a carrot on a stick to the nosecone...

And would any F1 betting be on the Todt?...