Horses

The horses you'll see competing on a thoroughbred race track are English Thoroughbreds or Purebred Arabians.

The English Thoroughbreds are registered with the Swedish Jockey Club, and you can follow their family trees several generations back.

The Arabian stock only competes in a small number of races, which are only open to Purebred Arabians. There are roughly 1,300 English Thoroughbreds in competition in Sweden, while there are no more than some fifty Purebred Arabians.

Tracks

Sweden has five thoroughbred tracks and 750 thoroughbred races are held every year. Sweden's two main tracks for thoroughbred racing are Täby Galopp, just north of Stockholm, and Jägerso in Malmö.

Täby has 50 meetings a year, and Jägersro 25. The new Gothenburg track, which was opened in 2002, currently has six days of racing every year. In addition there is a special televised race every Saturday and Sunday, with Trifecta and Exacta betting. One meeting a year is held at the Strömsholm track, outside the town of Västerås, and similarly there is one annual thoroughbred meeting at Blommeröd, outside Höör in the south of Sweden. 


Race tracks can have several different kinds of surface. Some courses have dirt tracks, which are composed of gravel and sand, while others have grass-covered (turf) tracks. There are also different kinds of thoroughbred racing. There are two kinds of race with barriers for the horses to jump: hurdles and steeplechase. The difference is that in hurdle racing, the horses have to jump movable fences that have been placed on the track, while in steeplechase the barriers are permanent constructions – for example, a bank of earth covered in brushwood, with a water-filled ditch the horses have to clear. Täby Galopp holds races on all the kinds of surface, Jägerso only has a dirt track, and Gothenburg, Strömsholm and Blommeröd only have turf. Although Strömsholm only has the one surface, it does host all three kinds of thoroughbred race – flat racing, hurdles and steeplechase.