What is a Hurdle race?

A Hurdle race is a horse race where the horses jump over obstacles called hurdles. These are smaller than fences and are a minimum of three and a half feet high.

They are typically made of a series of panels made of brush and are flexible.

Hurdle races have a minimum of eight hurdles and a minimum distance of two miles (3 km) but can be longer. These longer races are known as stayers’ hurdles.

They tend to be run at a faster pace than steeplechases as the height of the fence is much lower. The best hurdlers have a low and efficient style of jumping, which means they do not lose much momentum when they jump.

Horses that go hurdling are often former flat racehorses. Horses that have been bred for Jumps racing may also compete in these races to give them jumping practice before they go into Chases.

Fast Facts

  • There are 40 racecourses across the UK who stage hurdle races.
  • The most famous hurdle races include the Champion Hurdle, the World Hurdle and the Christmas Hurdle.

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