Hurdling (horse race)

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Tony Dobbin on Al Eile in the 2007 Fighting Fifth Hurdle.

A Hurdle race in Britain and Ireland is a National Hunt horse race where the horses jump over obstacles called hurdles that are over three and a half feet high. They are typically made of brush, that has some flexibility. Hurdle races always have a minimum of eight hurdles and a minimum distance of two miles (3 km). Horses that go hurdling are often former flat race horses. National Hunt horses may also compete in these races to give them jumping practice before they go into Chases. Many of the best hurdling horses eventually compete in chases when they are older, as they are too slow to hurdle and because their jumping technique will have improved over time.

Australian hurdle races are now conducted over wooden fences which provide some flexibility when jumped. In Victoria these jumps consist of portable hurdles in which the natural brush has been replaced by bright yellow soft synthetic brush. Hurdle races are usually run over a minimum distance of 2,800 metres. Victoria and South Australia are the only two states in Australia that conduct jumping races.[1]

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