Racehorses are amazing athletes. They can easily outpace a car and can jump over obstacles more than four and a half feet high – all while carrying a jockey on their backs! Read on for more awesome facts.
Horses are measured in ‘hands’, an old measurement that was used in Ancient Egypt.
The average racehorse measures 16 hands, the same as 162cm or 5 feet 4 inches.
Horses weigh up to a whopping 550kg, around seven or eight times the weight of an average man.
Racehorses wear shoes made of aluminium, the metal that fizzy drinks cans are made of, because it’s light and lets them run fast.
Horses’ feet, aka hooves, are looked after by a ‘farrier’, who makes sure the shoes fit perfectly.
The need for speed
Horses can reach speeds of 45 miles per hour – nearly twice as fast as Usain Bolt!
In a single minute, a racehorse can cover one kilometre in just 150 strides.
Horses have huge hearts that weigh as much as four bags of sugar.
A racehorse’s heart pumps 60 pints of blood during a race.
During a race a horse’s heart will beat 240 times a minute – well over twice as fast a human’s.
Horses also have big lungs and breathe in and out 150 times a minute.
They breathe 150 litres of air every second!
A racehorse will breathe 10,000 litres of air during a race – that’s as much as a human uses in a whole day!
Food for thought
It’s thirsty work being a racehorse. They’ll drink 5-10 gallons a day – that’s between 40 and 80 pints.
A racehorse eats up to 12kg of food a day – humans eat around 1.5kg.
Racehorses eat roughly 35,000 calories a day – that’s an amazing 1,650% more than humans – equal to over 250 Weetabix, 135 Mars Bars or 65 Big Macs!