The history of horse races dates back to 16th century England. While it is not as prevalent as it is in the United States, the popularity of horse racing continues to increase in other western democracies. The Annapolis Maryland Gazette, the world’s oldest newspaper, reported the race, and the newspaper described it as a “great one.” Most jockeys during this time were slaves, and the average weight of a horse at the time was around 140 pounds, including the jockey and his riding tack.
The horse race has several advantages over a typical campaign. The races are generally shorter, which makes them more exciting and fun for horseback riders. The first advantage of a horse race is that it gives the public a window into the world of insider politics, while also keeping coverage focused on individual races. While the election itself is not a political game, coverage can be more targeted, with horse-race stories serving as a “door opener” for coverage of important issues.
Many political experts believe that horse-race coverage has several unintended consequences. It trivializes the political process and reduces it to a sports event. By prioritizing entertainment over factual information, it contributes to a depoliticized environment and a trivial spectacle. In addition, the polling results are rarely used for analysis and are merely used as material for an irresponsible horse race description. Moreover, horse-race coverage often outshine every other election topic.
Technology has impacted the world of horse racing. While most of the rules and traditions have not changed, the Information Age has benefited the sport. The most notable change in recent years involves race safety. A thermal imaging camera is used to detect overheating horses post-race. MRI scanners and endoscopes can detect minor and major health conditions in horses before they lead to a worse outcome. The use of 3D printing allows veterinarians to produce a cast or prosthetic for an injured horse.
As a result of horse race coverage, news coverage of the presidential race is less relevant to other issues. The news, rather, focuses on the reactions of a small group of voters to a candidate. Instead, it’s all about the horse. It’s not about the issues. It’s about a single horse. A race is a competition of speed. As a result, the winner wins. There are a variety of rules in a horse race.
In the U.S., the horse race metaphor has two primary effects. First, it makes the presidential race a political drama. The media is prone to focusing on the front-runners. It also often leads to a focus on their character and composition. The political press risks under-representing the substance of candidates. The results in the horse race are often misleading. The storyline and the message of the candidate can be easily misconstrued.