Humans and horses have been teaming up for millennia. We were technically the ones to do the domesticating, but given the amount of love, care and respect people lavish on their horses— and the degree to which societies have been dependent on these animals over the course of history—sometimes it's fair to wonder who's really in charge. When it comes to thoroughbred horse racing, individuals, communities and even entire nations will pin their hopes on a favorite horse. (Not to mention their savings.) It's the horse we bet on, not the jockey, and it's the horse that will lift spirits or break hearts.
Many people think that the term "thoroughbred" refers to any purebred horse, when in fact it's a specific breed unto itself. The breed originated in England in the early 1700s, when three stallions were brought over from the Arabian Peninsula and bred with local mares. The result was a fast, powerful and highly trainable racehorse with a certain human-like charisma. Thoroughbreds have graced the covers of major magazines like Sports Illustrated, and some have received the honor of "Athlete of the Year" alongside human athletes of other sports. Upon the deaths of particularly beloved horses, funeral mourners have poured in from near and far. If you want to see which famous thoroughbred races in your veins and what that means for your personality, scroll down and start answering the following questions!
You're out at the racetracks, hoping to win a little money on the horses. How do you place your bets?
You meticulously analyze the charts and choose the horse with the greatest statistical odds of winning. You put down a decent sum, but nothing reckless.
You put all your money down on that scrappy little thing that hasn't won a race yet, because you believe they've got it in them. All your money ain't much, but it's a show of good faith.
You divide your money all over the place, choosing the horses with character that you just have a good gut feeling about. Maybe you wagered a little more than some would think wise, but hey, your gut's usually right.
You put down a hefty some on the reigning champ. You're pretty sure they'll win again, but if not, it's all right. You've got plenty more money where that came from.
It's a normal work day, whatever constitutes a normal work day for a horse like you. Which type of saddle do you prefer to wear?
Something strong and sturdy, good for long days working at the ranch. A solid horn on the front would be nice; you don't need the rider falling off and getting trampled when he's trying to rope things.
You prefer the strong and sturdy model as well, because you like that classic western American style. Only the finest quality leather, please.
You'd prefer a lighter, sleeker model. It might take a little more skill for the rider to stay in the saddle, but the close contact lets you read body language better. Plus, you only work with the best riders, anyway.
You like a lightweight affair as well--none of these huge, lumbering leather things--but you'll allow that the rider probably needs some protection from all the diverse terrain you ramble around in. Knee pads? Sure. A deeper seat? Okay. None of this horn nonsense, though--the rider needs to be able to move with you going up and down all those hills.
It's the day before the Preakness Stakes, that world-famous horse race held in Baltimore, Maryland, and you're simply chomping at the bit to get out there and show them what you've got. Daydreaming of your big win, you step off a curb wrong and twist your ankle. Your first thought is:
"Oh no! My fans will be so disheartened!"
"It's okay, I'll keep working and get back to where I was. Better, even!
"Oh no! I'll never have a perfect record of wins again!"