Becoming a Racehorse: What The Fans Don't See


What a visitor sees at the racetrack is just a glimpse into what horse racing really is.

They will observe the horses file into the paddock to be saddled. They will watch the horses parade before the grandstand and warm up for their race. They will see the horses load into the starting gate and then rocket out when the bell rings. They'll cheer for the horses as they race around the track and congratulate the winner while they pose for their photo.

But what they won't see is the years worth of dreams, patience, and hard work that makes those few minutes possible.

The life of every racehorse begins with a breeder who has long studied for and dreamt of the perfect racehorse. This breeder's dream starts becoming a reality at the farm where the mare is boarded. There they watch over her attentively to ensure that she has a comfortable pregnancy and a safe foaling experience.

Once the foal is born, farm employees make sure that it is getting an appropriate amount of exercise and the right nutrients. They observe how every individual is growing and make plans for each to begin their weaning process with as little stress as possible. From there careful attention is paid to getting the weanling to transform into a healthy and strong yearling.

All the while the farm’s employees are teaching the horses to be handled, walked, bathed, and groomed and are regularly checking that they are staying correct and sound as they grow.

The yearling must then move on to a training center where their education will continue. The horses are slowly introduced to different pieces of tack and, when they are comfortable with carrying tack, a rider will begin putting weight on their back. This weight will gradually turn into riding, then to jogging, and lastly to galloping.

It can take more than a year of this early training before a horse is sound enough of mind and body to move on to the actual racetrack, where they will begin preparing for racing with their respective trainers. Horses at the track are fed, groomed, exercised and/or walked, and checked over for any health issues every day. There is still much to be done when race day finally comes after those years of meticulous work and care; horses who are to compete are checked over by veterinarians in the morning and go through their usual morning routine. They will go to the receiving barn shortly before the race and there each horse’s identity is checked by looking at the tattoo on their upper lip as well as their markings. Blood is also drawn for testing.

If all is well, only then will the horse be permitted to go to the paddock where the public will see them prepare and race.

Afterward, it’s back to the behind-the-scenes world where the winner and others will be re-tested in the receiving barn and all horses will be cooled out, bathed, and fed another meal.

Transforming a breeder’s dream into a living, breathing, successful racehorse takes years of hard work and attentive care to all details surrounding their mental and physical health. It is not an easy task. In fact, working with young horses and energetic racehorses can be dangerous. These horses need people who are patient, observant, and resilient during every stage of their life - only people who truly love and care about Thoroughbreds and this sport can be this.

What a racing fan or bettor sees when they attend the track to watch live racing is a showcase of all of this work and is certainly not all that horse racing is. So, why not show them a foal Becoming a Racehorse?

Becoming a Racehorse is an upcoming mini-doc by Champions of the Track that explores what happens behind the scenes as foals transform into healthy and successful racehorses. The goal is to improve public perception of horse racing through this educational and entertaining mini-doc that will be free to view on our YouTube channel.


We plan to film this project through the spring and summer, but we need your help. We are looking for people to share their knowledge and help fund this project. Find what you can do to contribute below:


Participate: We are looking to film with anyone who plays a part in transforming foals into racehorses. We are located in Indiana but could film in Kentucky and Ohio. This is a good opportunity to not only help us educate outsiders of this industry but also to showcase your work. If you are interested in participating, please reach out at championsofthetrack@gmail.com.


Make a Contribution:

Individuals who wish to help us fund this mini-doc can make a contribution through our Ko-Fi page. This will also give you access to our behind-the-scenes content, a downloadable e-booklet that goes along with Becoming a Racehorse, and more. Visit our Ko-Fi page here.


Sponsor: We are seeking businesses and organizations to sponsor this project. This is a great opportunity to promote your products or services to our followers while also supporting an educational project on horse racing. Below are our sponsorship tiers -


Foal Tier - $100:

  • Inclusion in “Thank You To Our Sponsors” at the end of the mini-doc.

  • One post on our Facebook page about your business/organization.


Weanling Tier - $200:

  • Inclusion in “Thank You To Our Sponsors” at the end of the mini-doc.

  • One post on our Facebook page about your business/organization.

  • One post on our Instagram stories & Twitter about your business/organization.


Yearling Tier - $300:

  • Inclusion in “Thank You To Our Sponsors” at the end of the mini-doc.

  • One post on our Facebook page about your business/organization.

  • One post on our Instagram stories & Twitter about your business/organization.


Two-Year-Old in Training Tier - $400:

  • Inclusion in “Thank You To Our Sponsors” at the end of the mini-doc.

  • Two posts on our Facebook page about your business/organization.

  • One post on our Instagram feed about your business/organization.

  • Two posts on our Twitter about your business/organization.

  • Link to your business/organization’s website at the end of any article published on our website for Becoming a Racehorse.


Racehorse Tier - $500:

  • Business logo & website at the beginning of the mini-doc.

  • Two posts on our Facebook page about your business/organization.

  • One post on our Instagram feed about your business/organization.

  • Two posts on our Twitter about your business/organization.

  • Link to your business/organization’s website at the end of any article published on our website for Becoming a Racehorse.

  • One article published on our blog solely about your business/organization.


We can offer additional advertising benefits to any business or organization that wishes to sponsor at a higher level than we have listed here.


Contact us at championsofthetrack@gmail.com if you are interested in sponsoring.

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