Unlikely Nations Where Horse Racing is Popular

Horses Racing - nations where horse racing

Horse racing is a widely popular sport, which garners millions of fans and punters from around the world. From the iconic tracks in North America to the thriving racing scene in Europe, the sport boasts a truly global reach. Throughout the year, some of the most prestigious races take place, with top equine athletes competing for substantial purses. These events not only offer exhilarating entertainment but also present exciting betting opportunities for ardent punters. However, there are some surprising countries where horse racing enjoys immense popularity. In this article, we will explore three such countries.

South Africa

South Africa is one of the African countries that stands out for offering a diverse range of top horse racing events. Sports betting enthusiasts seeking access to a broad selection of these races can visit paridirect.com, where they can participate in the excitement by placing wagers on some of the most significant events on the racing calendar. The Durban July Handicap is a particular favorite, held annually in July and attracting a large following. This race has taken place on the first Saturday of July every year since 1897 and boasts a prize purse of R5 million. The event covers a distance of one mile on turf and has been won by notable horses such as Do It Again and Milesia Pride.

Another of the most popular races in South Africa is staged at Kenilworth Racecourse, with the Cape Metropolitan Stakes taking place annually since 1883. It is widely regarded as one of the big three races that take place in South Africa, alongside the Durban July and Summer Cup. This race is once again staged on the turf, with a distance of 2,000 meters covered. One of the most famous winners of the race was Horse Chestnut, who claimed success in 1999. As well as having huge success in South Africa, jockeys such as Lyle Hewitson and Muzi Yeni have both achieved international success. Meanwhile, equine stars like Hawwaam and Legal Eagle have both also run credible races outside of their home country.


Horse racing is a beloved sport in the Middle East, and Egypt is no different. One of the most passionate nations for their horse racing remains Egypt, with major races being staged at the Cairo International Stadium throughout the season. Some of the races that take place in the nation include the El Shams Club Cup and the Egyptian Derby. The nation also played a role in the historic success of global superstar American Pharoah, as the Triple Crown winner that later added Breeders’ Cup Classic glory to his resume was owned by Ahmed Zayat; a Jewish-born Egyptian. The Zayat Stables have played a key role in American Triple Crown racing throughout modern history, with Pioneer of the Nile also taking second in the Kentucky Derby back in 2009.


Egyptian-bred Orpen is one of the most successful horses produced in the nation, as the runner previously trained by Aidan O’Brien claimed victories at Goodwood and Deauville as a two-year-old, before coming up short when trying to land 2,000 Guineas success.


While Mauritius may not have generated as many international stars, it remains a significant country in terms of horse racing fandom. The gorgeous Champ de Mars Racecourse is one of the main reasons for this. The venue is the oldest in the southern hemisphere, having first opened to the public in 1812. Mauritius Turf Club now owns the track, which hosts a number of important races throughout the season. The Duchess of York Cup, the Duke of York Cup, and the Maiden Cup are among them. It is not only the oldest racetrack in the southern hemisphere, but also the second oldest in the world. Race days at the venue are as popular as ever, with tens of thousands flocking to see some of the country’s top performers in action. Between March and December, racing at the track takes place every day, and it is a destination on the bucket lists of many horse racing fans from around the world.

Final Thoughts

While horse racing is undoubtedly popular in North America and Europe, it is fascinating to discover its significant following in other parts of the world. South Africa’s diverse range of horse racing events, Egypt’s passion for the sport, and Mauritius’ historic Champ de Mars Racecourse showcase the global reach of horse racing. These countries offer top-quality races, featuring world-class horses and jockeys, and present exciting opportunities for sports betting enthusiasts. As the sport continues to expand globally, it is essential to recognize the diverse range of cultures and nations that embrace the thrill and excitement of horse racing.

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