6 Most Beautiful Horse Racing Venues in the World

Horse racing, like boxing and wrestling, is among the oldest sports in the world. The relationship between animal and jockey is a bond not found in any other athletic event. Adding to drama of one-thousand-pound animals sprinting toward a photo finish, is the element of gambling and winning (or losing) money on your best hunch. With hundreds of thousands of fans packing horse racing venues across the globe, including celebrities such as the Royal Family.

Ascot (Berkshire, United Kingdom)

Opened in 1711, the Royal Ascot race week (which occurs at the end of June) has always been a massive social event. So big, in fact, that members of the Royal Family tend to show up to the event, as Windsor Castle is very close to the grounds.

Tokyo Racecourse (Japan)

With marvelous views of the skyline in the background, the Tokyo Racecourse is not only a beautiful place to watch a race, but it’s also home to one of the largest video screens in the world and has the capacity to hold 223,000 fans.

Aintree (Liverpool, United Kingdom)

During their 190-year history, the fans at Aintree racetrack have witnessed some of the most dramatic moments in racing history. Like, for example, in 1928, when 42 horses began the race and only two finished. Much of the difficulty on this track is due to the longer fences and trenches the horses are forced to jump over.

Longchamp (Paris, France)

Sitting along the banks of the Seine is the Longchamp racetrack. Opened in 1857, the venue hosts Europe’s most prestigious race, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Epsom Downs (Epsom, United Kingdom)

Since 1661, horses have been running at this southeastern racetrack. So old are the hallowed grounds that the term derby originated from the the Epsom Derby. An additional 11,000 seats were added during a 2009 renovation.

Churchill Downs (Louisville, Kentucky)

Every May, Churchill Downs hosts arguably the most famous horse race on the planet: the Kentucky Derby. Opened in 1875, the grounds attract hundreds of thousands of eager sports fans to watch what’s been termed The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports (the length of a horse race). The Kentucky Derby is generally the most attended sporting event in the United States, with a record 170,513 packing into the complex in 2015.

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