Track and field events have an ancient history dating at least from the Olympics held in Greece two thousand years ago. Track and field sports include a variety of running, jumping and throwing contests,which take place on an oval track surrounding the field events area.
There are two basic types of horse racing, flat racing and races where the horses jump over fences and other obstacles. Races vary according to distance, terrain or ground surface, type of horse, prize money and weighting system. Horses may be ridden by a rider or driven by a driver in a variety of vehicles. Races begin at a starting gate, a starting stall, or by someone waving a flag or lifting a wire. The first horse past the finish post is the winner. If two or more horses finish together, a judge decides which horses nose passed the post first.
Horse racing was one of the first sporting events and betting on horses one of the first forms of gambling in the United States. As early as 1740 horses were being imported from England by colonists for breeding purposes. On southern plantations blacks were used as jockeys by their slave owners. The War of Independence against England slowed the growth of the sport, but never stopped it. Horse racing is popular in the United States today as well in the rest of the world. Because horses have been used for transportation, recreation and racing, there are many idioms associated with their use.