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A shortened term to refer to the half-mile position. The time "of the half" is the fractional time after one half of a mile of running.
Half Brother
Male horse out of the same dam, but by different sire than another horse.
Half Sister
A female horse out of the same dam, buy by different sire than another horse.
Half-Brother, Half-Sister
Horses out of the same dam but by different sires. Horses with the same sire and different dams are not considered half-siblings in Thoroughbred racing.
Half-Mile Pole
The pole at the infield rail exactly 4 furlongs from the finish line.
A track of that distance or a horse that prefers such a track.
Half-Rother, Half-Sister
Horses out of the same dam but by different sires.
A headgear like a bridle, but lacking a bit, that is used on a horse when being handled around the barn or when being walked.
Halter (To)
To claim a horse.
One who claims horses.
Four inches. A horse's height is measured in hands and inches from the top of the shoulder (withers) to the ground, e.g., 15.2 hands is 15 hands, 2 inches. Thoroughbreds typically range from 15 to 17 hands.
Hand Ride
The act of urging a horse toward longer, faster, more rhythmic stride by rolling hands on a horse's neck, lifting its head at beginning of stride.
The position or mark from which a horse starts during a handicap race. For instance, those horses deemed less likely to win the event will start off the front, while the favoured runner may start off a handicap of 20 metres. This means the favourite will have to cover an extra 20 metres in the race.
Handicap Race
One in which distance allowances are made for the purpose of equalising the horses' chance of winning.
The racing secretary or other official who assigns weight, handicaps, and races; also, a person who analyzes a day's racing card and reports selections for the wagering public.
One who assigns weights for a handicap race. Also one who makes selctions based on past performances.
1) Working in the morning with maximum effort. Compare with, 2) A horse racing well within itself, with little exertion from the jockey.
The total sum bet on a race. At times, the term Total Handle is shortened to handle to refer to the total sum bet on a given day or some finite period.
This refers to a horse unable to produce the expected finishing kick and therefore unable to improve its position on the stretch.
The inclination to run in (or out) during a race. When hanging in, a horse will have a tendency to veer towards the inside running rail or fence, while when hanging out, a horse will have a tendency to veer towards the outside running rail. A horse that is hanging will often check other runners which happen to be in its path.
Hard (Track)
A condition of a turf course where there is no resiliency to the surface.
Hard Boot
Denotes a well-traveled breeder whose boots are caked with mud and therefore hard-by extension, a breeder or trainer whose methods are characterized as old-fashioned. Generally used in the phrase Kentucky hard-boot.
A Kentucky horseman of the old school, because of legendary mud caked on his boots.
The gear which is used to attach the sulky to a horse, to carry the hopples and to enable the driver to steer the horse.
A frame with suspended pins towed by a tractor used to loosen and even the soil of a track surface. The amount loosened is determined by how low the pins are set in the frame.
Hat Trick
The winning, usually by a jockey, of three races on a single program.
A unit of measurement that describes a race animal's lead to another by the length of its head.
Head of the Stretch
The beginning of the straight run for the finish line.
The main harness racing track in a particular area. In NSW, headquarters refers to Harold Park, the metropolitan track in that state.
One of multiple elimination races used to narrow the final field for a stakes race for which many race animals have been nominated. Usually run two to three weeks before the final race.
This is a disease of the lungs when the air sacs are torn open and the lungs lose their elasticity. A horse so affected has a dry cough and must forcefully exhale air from his lungs. The condition is seldom seen in thoroughbreds.
Condition of track similar to, but even slower than, muddy.
Heavy (Track)
Wettest possible condition of a turf course; not usually found in North America.
Heavy Track
A racing surface drier than muddy and on which the footing is heavy and sticky.
Heel Crack
A crack on the heel of the hoof. Also called a "sand crack."
A lightweight fiberglass cap worn by jockeys to prevent head injuries. It is required equipment that is not considered part of a jockey's riding weight.
A blood-filled area resulting from injury.
High Weight
Highest weight assigned or carried in a race.
Highweight Handicap
Race in which the topweight is assigned no less than 140 pounds.
A large joint just above the shin bone in the rear legs. Corresponds to the level of the knee of the front leg.
Home Straight
The straight length of the track, nearest the spectators, where the finish line is situated. It is called this because it is the final part of the track a horse travels down during a race -- on its run 'home' (or run to the finish line).
Home Turn
The final turn a horse must travel around before entering the home straight in the run to the finish line.
A horse bred by his owner.
The straightaway between the end of the far turn and the finish line.
A term referring to a kind, reliable horse.
A (usually) nylon covering which goes over a horse's head to which blinkers or earmuffs are attached.
The foot of the horse. Consists of several parts that play an integral role in supporting the weight of the horse. See "Hoof" subsection of "Musculoskeletal System" in veterinary supplement for a more detailed explanation. For hoof injuries, see cracked hoof; heel crack; quarter crack; toe crack.
A horse that has been illegally stimulated.
The straps which connect the front and rear legs on the same side of a horse. Most pacers wear hopples to help balance their stride and maintain a pacing gait. The length of hopples is adjustable and a trainer registers the length that best suits his or her horse. No alteration to this length can be made without permission.
Broadly, in any Thoroughbred regardless of sex. Specifically, an entire male 5 years old or older.
Horse Identifier
The racing official who checks the lip tattoo and markings of each horse as it enters the paddock to make sure the correct horses are running in the race.
Horsemen's Group
A trade association or representative body of owners and trainers.
Behavior of a mare in heat (in season). See estrus.
Hot Walker
A stablehand who walks a horse while it cools out after a race or workout.
Person who walks horses to cool them out after workout or races.
A horse that does not advance its position in a race when called upon by its jockey.
Amateur racing, mainly on grass and over jumps.
Hurdle Race
Contested over obstacles. A jumping race over lower fences than steeplechase races.
Hyaluronic Acid
A normal component of joint fluid. Also can be a man-made intra-articular medication used to relieve joint inflammation.
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