Configuration of a course
The ‘configuration of a course’ simply refers to how a racecourse is laid out.
You could simply have a long straight course. This is straightforward to construct but it is quite a dull design and doesn’t offer any particular interest to the spectators. It also means that a very large piece of land would be required, and this is expensive.
You might think that a perfect circle would be the obvious solution, but this too would be problematic. Firstly, racehorses cannot start or finish a race on a bend or curve. Secondly, you would need to stagger racehorse starts to compensate for the obvious advantage that the racehorse on the inside of the circular track would have. Thirdly, a circular track would make for very odd-looking racing, and dizzy horses and jockeys!
The best racecourses offer a mixture of straights and bends. They also allow for different lengths of races to be run. Look at the diagrams below to see how different courses can accommodate different lengths of race. You’ll notice that the length of the races is measured in terms of furlongs. One furlong is equal to just over 200 metres.
Sensory overload: a complete guide to racehorse ownership
Go to page 2 and click on the bottom left corner to view the 3D racecourse section. Here you will find images (like the one to the left) and details on all of Britain’s racecourses. www.welcometoracehorseownership.co.uk