Horse racing is one of the most popular sports in the UK. In order to get to know the difference between the courses in British horse racing, you can divide them all to three main groups:
National Hunt- These are the jumping courses with featuring steeple chasing facilities and hurdles. There are 24 National Hunt racecourses in the region (2010).
Flat Racing Courses- These courses are the large oval ones, which runs a distance of one mile or more and feature sample space for large fields to race. There are 18 Flat courses in the UK (2010).
Mixed Racing Courses- There are only 18 mixed which have both type of tracks and can fit most of the weather conditions and most of the types of the horse racing in the UK.
There is no geographical distinction of where a certain type of race courses in the UK is situated. The Dispersion is almost equal among the different tracks with an exception of the north territory which holds the smallest amount of horse courses in the UK, merely 5 tracks are situated there.
The UK hosts 60 licensed race courses, they all date back to 1927 except Chester racecourse which date back to the 16th century. There are also many horse courses in the UK that were closed after many years of racing, and had their lands converted to cricket and golf courses and even had airports, industrial buildings and clubs erected upon them. Some simply lost their license because of failure to follow regulation or simply because of safety issues.
In addition each race course has its own TV channel broadcasting races and horse racing news. It’s either RUK (Racing UK – Sky 432) or ATR (At the Races – Sky 415). This tell some about the popularity of the Horse Racing sport in the UK.
Courses maintenance is at the responsibility of the tracks management, and includes preparing for different events and races and fixtures, plus maintaining the course in a condition suitable for racing. All of the UK Horse Courses perform under the supervision of the RCA (Racecourse Association) which represent horse courses in the UK and is considered to be one of the major Supervising and coordinating bodies in the UK horse racing industry alongside BHA (British Horse racing Authority). These two bodies are responsible of events and races taken place in the licensed tracks and provide administration, going reports, disciplinary rule and general regulation of race courses in the UK and the events and races of taking place in these courses.
Some horse courses in the UK are not entirely for horse racing as they host wedding ceremonies, business meetings and conferences and various events requiring halls, catering and other supporting facilities and services.