What’s the Biggest Horse Racing Event?

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Horse racing is regarded as the “Sport of Kings” and there are massive horse races annually held all over the world, including the United States, Canada, UK, Hong Kong, India, Australia and France.

The biggest horse racing event can be subjective. Do you rank horse races by attendance? Do you rank races by prize pool? There are multiple ways to look at the biggest horse races in the world.

Without question, the biggest horse race in the USA is the Kentucky Derby, which is the first leg of the US Triple Crown. However, there are bigger horse racing events in other countries.

The Kentucky Derby doesn’t have the biggest prize pool in the USA either.

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Biggest Horse Racing Events Around the World

Here are several of the biggest horse racing events around the world that are held annually:

● Pegasus World Cup: Held annually in Florida, the Pegasus World has only been around since 2017, but the race offers a huge purse. In the race’s first year the prize pool was $12,000,000, but in 2020 the purse was only $3,000,000. The format/entry rules also vary each year.

● Dubai World Cup: More and more American horses travel to Dubai to participate in the big prize pool races. None are bigger than the Dubai World Cup, which started in 1996. It’s one of the biggest days on the horse racing calendar and the prize pool is $10,000,000.

● Melbourne Cup: Horse racing is extremely popular in Australia and the Melbourne Cup is the biggest horse race every year. The race started in 1861, so there’s plenty of history. The race is held in November at Flemington Racecourse and the prize money is $6,200,000.

● Japan Cup: Held on the last Sunday of November every year, the Japan Cup has run since 1981. The grade 1 race has a huge purse of $5,800,000 and the competition is always fierce.

● Breeder’s Cup Classic: The Breeder’s Cup Classic has a massive purse of $6,000,000 and is held annually in North America. Every race has been hosted in the USA except for in 1996 when the race was held at Woodbine in Canada. This race has the biggest purse in the USA.

● Paris Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe: The Arc is the biggest annual horse race in France and the prize pool is $5,400,000. The race was first run in 1920 and has a storied history.

● Kentucky Derby: The first Kentucky Derby was hosted in 1875. Every year at Churchill Downs the best three-year-old thoroughbreds travel to Kentucky to participate in the race. Many celebrities attend the event annually. The prize pool is $2,000,000.

There are also multiple big festivals on the UK horse calendar every year, including Royal Ascot and Cheltenham. There are multiple big races hosted over several days during these festivals and there is a ton of money on the line. Horse racing is a huge sport with many big events hosted worldwide.

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