Countries with the Highest Horse Racing Support

Support towards horse racing must come from multiple ends of the country in question to have a solid equestrian infrastructure. There must be investments, sponsorships, connections, trainers, talent scouts, genuine racehorse breeding programs, and above all else, public interest. In the absence of people who understand, love, and actively support the sport, none of it would be possible.

To have the kind of support that some nations do, horse racing must be a big part of their culture and heritage. This is a big reason why only a handful of nations have the support necessary to participate in major international horse races. Next, we are going to find out which nations are on that list.

United Kingdom

Although Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, Arabs, and several other major cultures all across the planet have been racing horses and chariots for millenniums, Britain is where organised, regulated, and tracked thoroughbred horse racing started back in the 1600s. Although other nations have come forward to meet the challenge since then, horse racing in the United Kingdom remains the second largest spectator sport with millions of supporters watching and betting on major races held throughout the year. Some of the most prestigious and richest Group 1 horse races in UK are:

  • The 5 British Classics: 1000 Guineas Stakes, 2000 Guineas Stakes, The Oaks, The Derby, and the St. Leger Stakes
  • The Grand National, which is also the richest jump race (£750,000) in the National Hunt
  • The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the 2nd richest jump race in the National Hunt (£625,000)
  • The Ascot Gold Cup is UK’s most prestigious long race (4,014 metres)


In recent times, both fan and sponsor support for horse racing in Australia has surpassed even that in the United Kingdom. Although Aussies do not care as much for jump races due to the danger it poses to the racehorses, they do love their flat races. Known also as Black Type Thoroughbred Horse Races, these are some of Australia’s richest and most supported Group 1 races in Australia.

  • The Melbourne Cup (AU$8 million)
  • The Caulfield Cup (AU$5 million)
  • The W.S. Cox Plate (AU$5 million)
  • The Golden Slipper Stakes (AU$3.5 million)
  • The Victoria Derby (AU$2 million)
  • The Australian Cup (AU$1.5 million)
  • The Crown Oaks (AU$1 million)

It must be mentioned that although The Everest is not a Group 1 race, it is currently the richest race in Australia with a prize purse of $15 million and one of the richest flat races on turf in the World.

United Arab Emirates

The Middle East has one of the oldest connections to horse racing and it goes back in history much in the same way as it did with European aristocrats, royals, and nobles. The only difference is that the monarchy still exists in the UAE, and they are big supporters of horse racing. The biggest Group 1 thoroughbred races in the Emirates are:

  • The Dubai Sheema Classic (US$6 million)
  • The Dubai Turf (US$6 million)
  • The Dubai World Cup (US$12 million)

The Middle East

Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Cup recently attained its Group 1 status in October 2021. However, the race had immediately become the richest racing event in the history of horse racing well before that. With a prize pool of US$20 million, no other race in any format or nation comes even close to the pure financial support provided by Prince Bandar Bin Khalid Al Faisal.

United States of America

Horse racing has deep, old roots in the United States and those roots are very widely spread. There are far too many horse races going on across the massive nation’s 50 states to keep track of them all, but we have the most supported American Group 1 races listed for our readers next.

  • The Kentucky Derby (US$3 million)
  • The Preakness Stakes (US$1 – 1.5 million)
  • The Belmont Stakes (US$1.5 million)
  • The Breeders’ Cup Classic (US$6 million)
  • The Travers Stakes (US$1.25 million)

The Arc, or the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (€5 million) held in Paris, France deserves a special mention before we end this list. While Europe has a wide range of popular and well supported Group 1 horse races that are conducted across several nations, Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is considered by many to be the most prestigious flat turf race in Europe.

FacebookTwitterRedditWhatsAppTelegramLinkedInEmailCopy Link
Go Back
Written by



    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *