The biggest horse racing event on the Canadian calendar is the Canadian Triple Crown which is a series of three thoroughbred horse races organised each year.
The events, which draws thousands of spectators from Canada and beyond, only allows (horse) entrants which were born in the country and are three years old. They are all held in the summer from June until August.
The event was set up in 1959 and one of the fine things about it is that each meet is contested on different race surfaces. The distances involved are rather obscure, with the the first leg – the Queen’s Plate – being held in Toronto over one and a quarter miles on a synthetic tapeta track. The second part is held on a dirt track over one and three sixteenths of a mile on a dirt track at Fort Erie, Ontario, which is not too far from the Toronto track. The last one and a half mile leg is held at Woodbine at the Taylor Turf Course and is called the Breeders’ Stakes.
The US and the Canadian circuit differ from the UK in allowing geldings to take part in this event.
Geldings are horses (or any other equine, for that matter) that have been castrated. Just like any other animal, castrated horses are more gentle and better behaved than your typical stallion. Whether or not there is any scientific evidence to show that a gelding will have better performance on the track remains to be seen and there are various opinions and schools of thought on the matter.
Flat horse racing continues to gain in popularity in Canada and nowadays horses are also being brought over to Europe to compete. While it is not as fast paced as the British flat races, the new breed of thoroughbreds that are coming to light today are giving the European equines a literal run for their money.