Horse racing is one of the oldest and most popular sports in the world. But did you know that horse races always go counterclockwise? This is something that is so common, it’s almost taken for granted. But why do horse races always go counterclockwise? Let’s take a closer look at the history and science behind this phenomenon.
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History of Counterclockwise Horse Racing
The history of why horse races are run counterclockwise goes back to the Roman Empire. In ancient Rome, the chariot races were run counterclockwise. The charioteers would race around a track in the Circus Maximus, which was laid out in a counterclockwise direction. The chariots were pulled by two horses, and they raced around the track in a counterclockwise direction.
This tradition of counterclockwise horse racing was later adopted by the British and the Americans in the 18th century. During the 19th century, horse racing became a popular sport in the United States and Europe. The tradition of running horse races in a counterclockwise direction was kept alive, and it has been the standard ever since.
Scientific Reasons for Counterclockwise Racing
There is also a scientific reason why horse races are run counterclockwise. Horses are naturally programmed to run clockwise, so running them counterclockwise can be more challenging for them. When horses turn left, their bodies move in an oval pattern, which is more difficult for them to maintain than when they turn right.
In addition, running counterclockwise gives the horses an advantage when it comes to turns. When horses turn left, their bodies are better able to stay balanced and their momentum is not disrupted as much as when they turn right. This gives them a better chance of winning the race.
Benefits of Counterclockwise Racing
There are some other benefits to running horse races in a counterclockwise direction. For one thing, it is safer for the horses. When horses turn right, they may be more likely to slip and fall, which can result in injury. Running counterclockwise allows the horses to make more gradual turns, which reduces the risk of injury.
In addition, running counterclockwise reduces the risk of collisions between horses. When horses turn right, they tend to run into each other more often, which increases the chances of injury. By running counterclockwise, horses have more space to maneuver, which reduces the risk of collisions.
As you can see, there are a number of reasons why horse races are always run counterclockwise. The ancient Romans created this tradition thousands of years ago, and it is still practiced today. There is also a scientific explanation for why this is beneficial for the horses, as it reduces the risk of injury and collisions. So the next time you attend or watch a horse race, remember why it’s always run counterclockwise.