IN PHOTOS: How horses are prepped and polished for the big races 2
Like shoes, the thoroughbred’s hooves are polished to give the horse a well-groomed appearance, attracting more bets in turn. Photograph by Pat Mateo
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IN PHOTOS: How horses are prepped and polished for the big races

The races will always see a thoroughbred at its most pristine condition, but there is much that happens during the days in between.
Aurelio Icasiano III | Jul 09 2019

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IN PHOTOS: How horses are prepped and polished for the big races 3
IN PHOTOS: How horses are prepped and polished for the big races 4
IN PHOTOS: How horses are prepped and polished for the big races 5
IN PHOTOS: How horses are prepped and polished for the big races 6
IN PHOTOS: How horses are prepped and polished for the big races 7
IN PHOTOS: How horses are prepped and polished for the big races 8
IN PHOTOS: How horses are prepped and polished for the big races 9

After a day of racing or training, the horse is washed and sponged of dirt and sweat before it is allowed to rest. 

The hooves must be picked clean of stones, mud, and other debris as these may cause infection, rendering the horse unable to race. 

Thoroughbreds are lively creatures and could exert themselves to the point of exhaustion or injury. Here, an ice pack is strapped to a horse’s leg after a session of training. 

Each thoroughbred is issued a passport that identifies its lineage and the country it comes from, allowing the owner to keep track of the bloodlines in his stable. 

From left: Aside from specially designed feeds, horses also require medication to condition them for the tracks; Hooves are cared for with brushes, clippers, abrasives, and polish to keep them fit for running.

During races, a bit and bridle are attached to the horse to help the jockey guide it to the finish line. 

Horseshoes come in different types and are commonly made of steel or synthetic materials, the choice coming down to the preferences of the owner and trainer. 

 

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Photographs by Pat Mateo

This story originally appeared on Vault Magazine Issue 12 No 4 2013