A Collection of Research on the Horse Race and Politics

Horse racing is one of the oldest forms of competition and its core concept has changed little over time. Beginning as a race between two horses for speed or endurance to now being an international event involving thousands of runners with sophisticated monitoring equipment; regardless, one horse crossing the finish line first is always declared the victor.

Technology advances have revolutionized virtually every industry over recent years, including horse racing. Race safety is now of utmost importance; thermal imaging cameras to detect overheated horses after races; MRI and X-ray scans for various health conditions; 3D printing for casts/splints/prosthetics has all revolutionized horse racing’s ability to quickly provide treatment in case of injury; these advances all contribute to safe racetrack environments.

These innovations have also improved the breeding process, allowing trainers and owners to identify potential champions earlier. This trend has resulted in an increased number of mares being bred for racehorses with more women entering as jockeys; yet despite these advancements the male-dominated culture of horse racing still plays a part in gender inequality within its ranks.

Australia now boasts more female jockeys than ever before, yet that has not altered the perception that horse races are predominantly seen as male events. Given that most Australians identify as female, this represents a serious barrier that needs to be addressed if horse racing is to become more inclusive.

As has often been argued, news outlets that focus too heavily on horse race coverage instead of policy issues contribute to voters’ disillusionment with politicians and the political system in general. A growing body of research supports this contention and indicates that horse race reporting seen often during election coverage does more damage than good.

This collection of research is regularly updated. The latest update includes research on third-party political candidates, probabilistic forecasting and TV news coverage of elections.

One major criticism of horse race journalism is its tendency to focus only on two candidates, to the detriment of primary contenders and third-party candidates. Yet learning that underdogs can, and often do win could have proven invaluable in providing journalists with valuable lessons ahead of 2024 presidential election.