For fans of horse racing, it may feel as though there is little need to pursue the slightly more niche sport of greyhound racing. However, with greyhound racing featuring some of the top sporting events in the country, it’s no surprise that more and more fans are beginning to take a keen interest in both.
To the uninitiated, it may seem like the two sports have a lot of similarities, and while the basic premise of animals running around a course is very similar, there are a lot of nuances that make greyhound racing truly unique.
Let’s take a look at a few factors that define the appeal of greyhound racing, and give it its own individual qualities when compared against horse racing.
There are few sports that boast the kind of history that greyhound racing does. There was once a time where it was one of the most popular pursuits in the country, particularly among the working classes. The fact that races were usually held at night and during the week meant that those working during the day were able to kick back in the evenings and take in some thrilling action.
In fact, many of the football stadiums we see in use today were once devoted to greyhound racing. Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge is a prime example, with the west London venue having been a famous track back in the day.
Overall, greyhound racing’s working-class roots are what separate it from horse racing, which historically was more associated with those of a higher social status. Nowadays, both sports are enjoyed by a wide spectrum of fans, and everyone is welcomed, but it’s still interesting to note the historical context that surrounds them.
Of course, we have to touch on the action itself, and it’s fair to say that greyhound racing offers a slightly less predictable viewing experience than horse racing. The simple presence of jockeys in the latter means that the horses are slowed and sped up as the race situation requires, whereas in greyhound racing the dogs are simply running on their own terms.
It’s for this reason that fans flock to their local racetrack, to witness this thrilling action unfold and possibly even bet on greyhound racing. Once the dogs are released from the traps, the trainers and spectators are helpless for the length of the race, forced to watch on from the stands with no way of affecting proceedings. This is certainly area where greyhound racing differs from horse racing.
The unique experience
Indeed, the whole greyhound racing experience is one that is worth pursuing just for its various individual quirks and qualities. The fact that greyhound meetings usually take place at night is, in itself, a unique aspect, and that makes it the perfect midweek social activity. There’s nothing quite like gathering your friends, checking the greyhound racing tips and then heading down to the tracks for a night of fast-paced thrills and spills.
Whenever you visit a greyhound racetrack, you feel as though you’re stepping into history. This is a sport that has thrilled us for generations, and it’s worth checking out even if you’re a horse racing fan to the core!