Glossary

Term Description
Acceptor  A horse that has been declared by the owner or trainer to run in a race.
Anti-Rearing Bit Commonly called a "rearing bit". This is a circular-shaped bit with three rings and a dip at the top used when leading horses. The dipped section goes inside the mouth, and the rest of the bit lies under the jaw. The bit is attached to the head collar. Racehorses on racecourses must be led with bits in their mouths (with a head collar with a rearing bit or a bridle) for safety.
Ballot  Where too many horses apply for a race, a system of deciding who is running is applied.
Barrier Trial  A simulated race for horses to be educated in and assist with fitness.
Bit  A bar (usually made of stainless steel) which sits in the horse's mouth and is attached to the bridle. It is attached to the reins, jockeys use the reins and bit to steer and control the horse by applying pressure to the reins.
Bleeder A horse that suffers from bleeding (exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage). It occurs when the lungs of horses pre-disposed to bleeding are under pressure which causes small capillaries that surround the lungs' air sacs to rupture so that the lungs bleed. The first-time a horse bleeds it is banned from racing for three months. If it bleeds in a race after that, the horse is banned for life as they are dangerous.
Blinkers  Used to limit a horse's vision to prevent the horse from reacting to incidents during a race and to generally improve concentration.
BOBS Breeders Owners Bonus Scheme - has additional bonus prizemoney for NSW bred horses.
Breaking In  when a horse is being taught to be ridden and have a saddle on its back.
Broken-Down When a horse has a serious injury that will prevent it racing (temporarily or permanently), usually of the legs.
Broodmare  A female horse used to produce foals.
Bute An anti-inflammatory medication. Horses must race drug-free in Australia, so it must not be in their systems on raceday.
Checked  When a horse's path is blocked, causing it to change stride, slow down or change direction.
Cheekers  Rubber attachments to a bridle to prevent the bit slipping through a horse's mouth.
Classic A race for three-year-old horses at set weights.
Classifications / Ratings A system used to compare top class horses between countries and years. A handicapping panel assesses horses that have finished in the first six in a Group 1 race, or the first four in a Group 2 or 3 race and allocate weights for those horses in the categories of sprint, middle-distance, intermediate and staying.
Clerk of the Course  The Clerks of the Course assemble the horses in a race into numerical order in the saddling paddock and then escort the horses to the mounting yard. The Clerks of the Course also escort the winning horse back to the mounting yard at the completion of the race. It is traditional that these horses are grey in colour but it is not essential.
Colt  An entire male horse under four years of age.
Conditions  The eligibility requirements for horses to run in a particular race.
Correct Weight  Once jockeys have weighed in the same as they went out, TAB dividends are paid.
Dam  The mother of a horse.
Derby A stakes event for three-year-old racehorses.
Drench  Worming paste.
Emeran Park  Our spelling farm of choice.
Entire  Any male horse with both testicles in the scrotum (a colt or stallion).
Even Time  Also known as "Evens". A galloper running 200m in 15 seconds in training workouts. Under race conditions the average time for 200m is 12 seconds.
Farrier  A person who tends to the feet of horses.
Filly  A female horse under four years of age.
Furlong  A measure of races until the introduction of metrics in 1972. A furlong is 220 yards, which is about 200m. Formerly races over a mile were also referred to as eight furlong races, whereas since 1972 they are over 1600m.
Gelding  A male horse with both testicles removed. Horses are gelded to prevent them becoming too heavy and to moderate their behaviour.
Group Race  Stakes races are races of high quality, categorised into Group 1, 2 and 3 and Listed races in order of importance.
Hand  A unit of measure used to determine the height of a horse. A hand is about 10cm, with the horse being measured from the ground to the highest point of the wither (ridge between the shoulder bones).
Handicap  A race that has weights assigned to horses by the handicapper according to ability to equalise each horse's chances of winning, the Melbourne Cup is Australia's richest handicap.
Handicapper  The person who assigns handicaps to competitors.
Hanging  A term used to describe a horse that is not running straight. Jockeys must make all endeavours to ensure their horses run in a straight lines during races.
Invitation Race  A race that only invited horses may enter.
Irons  Better known as stirrups. Combined with the reins, stirrups provide the jockey with the leverage to control a horse. They can be raised or lowered depending on the jockey's preference.
Laser/ Bubble Boots  Treatment used on horses to assist with soreness in legs.
Listed Race  A stakes race below a group race in quality.
Lugging-Bit  A bit with a metal ring attached to give the jockey more control, especially with a horse that hangs.
Maiden 1. A horse or rider that has not won a race. 2. A female that has never been bred.
Mare  A female horse four years old or older.
Middle-Distance A race that is run over between 1400 and 2199 metres.
Mounting Yard  Here the horses are paraded in numerical order prior to each race and jockeys are issued with their instructions from trainers and owners and mount their horses. Following each race, all competitors dismount in the mounting yard. The first five horses past the winning post fill the placegetters stalls and their jockeys weigh in. No one is permitted to have any physical contact with the jockey before they weigh in.
Near Side  Left side of a horse from which the horse is always approached, led and mounted.
Oaks A stakes race for three-year-old fillies.
Pacifiers Mesh eye-covers used to calm horses down. These cannot be used in wet weather for safety reasons as mud can stick to them.
Penetrometer  A device used for measuring the hardness of the track by measuring the extent to which it penetrates the ground.
Photo-Finish A finish where it is difficult for the judge to determine the winner, so a camera is used to take a photo of the finish line as the horses cross the line.
Protest  A protest may be lodged with the Stewards by the owner, trainer or jockey of a horse if they believe that interference during a race has caused a horse to finish in a lower placing than it should have. The official results and the announcement of "correct weight" are delayed until the Stewards have finished their inquiry into the matter. When their decision has been made, the official results are recorded, "correct weight" is announced and dividends can be paid on bets.
Quality Race  In a quality, the weights are assigned as in a handicap, but with a maximum weight of 60kg and a minimum weight of 52kg.
Race Caller  Person who verbally describes a race.
Registered  In relation to a horse it means that the horse has been named and accepted under that name by the Registrar of Racehorses to compete under the rules of racing. To be registered a horse must, under the rules of racing, be first accepted into the Australian Stud Book or Australian Non Thoroughbred Register.
Rig  A male horse which is a cryptorchid. A unilateral cryptorchid has one undescended testicle in the abdomen; the other testicle may be in the scrotum or it may be removed. A bilateral cryptorchid has two undescended testicles (double rig).
Scratch  When a horse is withdrawn from a race most commonly due to injury, track conditions or programming decisions for a horse.
Shin Sore  Inflammation of the membrane of the cannon (shin) bone. Young horses are most likely to be affected and it is usually remedied with a spell (rest in the paddock for a period of weeks).
Shuttle Stallion  Any stallion which commutes between hemispheres to cover mares but may not cover mares in both hemispheres every calendar year.
Sire  A male horse that has produced foals.
Sprint  A race run over less than 1400 metres.
Stallion  A male horse four years of age or older.
Staying Race  A race of more than 2200 metres.
Steeple Chase  A race incorporating jumps. These races are called steeple chases as they used to be a race to the church steeple.
Stewards' (Stipendary Stewards / "Stipes")  Officials at a race meeting who have the responsibility of enforcing the rules of racing.
Strapper  A person who attends and grooms racehorses.
Tack  Horse equipment (saddle, bridle, grooming equipment, etc.).
Tongue Tie  A strap or piece of stocking used to tie down a horse's tongue to prevent the tongue getting over the bit which affects a horse's breathing and the control of the jockey over the horse.
Track Ratings  Used to describe the racing surface (Fast: Very firm surface, Good: Firm surface, Dead: Track with give in the ground, Slow: Rain affected, Heavy: Very rain affected).
VOBIS The Victorian Owners and Breeders Incentive Scheme
Warned Off A person warned-off a racecourse is one who is not permitted to enter a racecourse or associate with licensed persons.
Weight for Age  A race in which weights are apportioned to horses according to their age or sex or both, and remains a Weight for Age race even if there are penalties and allowances; or the race is confined to horses of the same age. Females usually receive a sex allowance as well.
Welter  A handicap with a higher minimum weight.