France has a major horse racing industry. It is home to the famous Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe held at Longchamp Racecourse, the richest race in Europe and the second richest turf race in the world after the Japan Cup, with a prize of 4 million Euros (approximately US$5.2 million). Other major races include the Grand Prix de Paris, the Prix du Jockey Club (the French Derby) and the Prix de Diane. Besides Longchamp, France's other premier flat racecourses include Chantilly and Deauville. There is also a smaller but nevertheless important jumps racing sector, with Auteil Racecourse being the most well known. The sport's governing body is France Galop.
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Knowledge of the first horse race is lost in prehistory. Both four-hitch chariot and mounted (bareback) races were held in the Olympic Games of Greece over the period 700–40 bce. Horse racing, both of chariots and of mounted riders, was a well-organized public entertainment in the Roman Empire. The history of organized racing in other ancient civilizations is not very firmly established. Presumably, organized racing began in such countries as China, Persia, Arabia, and other countries of the Middle East and in North Africa, where horsemanship early became highly developed. Thence came too the Arabian, Barb, and Turk horses that contributed to the earliest European racing. Such horses became familiar to Europeans during the Crusades (11th–13th century ce), from which they brought those horses back.
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2018 Eclipse Award Winners - Justify won Horse of the Year and Champion 3-year-old Male at the Eclipse Awards. Other winners included Accelerate as Champion Older Male, Roy H repeated as Champion Sprinter, and Stormy Liberal as Champion Turf Male, the first time a sprinter has won that category. Get all the winners, details about them, and the vote totals here.
Thoroughbred horse racing came to China with British settlements in the middle 1800s and most notably centered around the treaty ports, including the two major race courses in Shanghai, the Shanghai Racecourse and the International Recreation Grounds (in Kiang-wan), and the racecourses of Tianjin. The Kiang-wan racecourse was destroyed in the lead-up to the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Shanghai Race Club closed in 1954. The former Shanghai Racecourse is now People's Square and People's Park and the former club building was the Shanghai Art Museum.
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Arabians must be able to withstand traveling long distances at a moderate pace. They have an abundance of type I muscle fibers, enabling their muscles to work for extended periods of time. Also, the muscles of the Arabian are not nearly as massive as those of the Quarter Horse, which allow it to travel longer distances at quicker speeds. The Arabian is primarily used today in endurance racing, but is also raced over traditional race tracks in many countries.