Encyclopedia of Sport: Every sport from around the world

Steeplechase (Horse Racing)

Steeplechase, also known as Jump Racing, is a horse racing sport in which competitors on horseback race on a long distance course that has several types of obstacles. The sport originated in Ireland where it still remains as a very popular sport. It is also popular in the United States, Australia, France and the UK.

The courses used for the races are specifically designed, with a grass or turf surface featuring obstacles like hurdles, fences and water jumps. The total race length is typically between 4 to 6 miles. The number of obstacles used and the distance between obstacles varies for different courses.

Steeplechase racing is currently referred to by different names in different countries; although the objective of the sport and the race format all remain the same everywhere.

steeplechase racing steeplechase racing

In Great Britain and Ireland the sport is called 'National Hunt racing'. These two countries have several competitions throughout the year and account for over 50% of all races conducted worldwide. The Grand National steeplechase race conducted annually in Liverpool, is the most famous race in all of steeple chasing, where a prize money of £1 million is offered.

In the United States, the Breeders' Cup Grand National Steeplechase competition held annually in New Jersey is the most popular race which carries a purse of $500,000.

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Check out our Encyclopedia of Every Sport. Well not every sport, as there is a list of unusual sports, extinct sports and newly created sports. How to get on these lists? See What is a sport?

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