Glossary

G

Gait
The characteristic footfall pattern of a horse in motion. Thoroughbreds have four natural gaits -- walk, trot, canter and gallop. Thoroughbreds compete at a gallop.  

Gap
An opening in the rail where horses enter and leave the course.  

Gate Card
A card, issued by the starter, stating that a horse is properly schooled in starting gate procedures.  

Gelding
A male horse of any age that has been neutered by having both testicles removed.  

Girth
An elastic and leather band, sometimes covered with sheepskin, that passes under a horse's belly and is connected to both sides of the saddle.  

Good (track)
A dirt track that is almost fast or a turf course slightly softer than firm.  

Grab a Quarter
Injury to the back of the hoof or foot caused by a horse stepping on itself (usually affects the front foot). Being stepped on from behind in the same manner, usually affects the back foot. A very common injury during racing. Generally, the injury is minor.

Graded Race
Established in 1973 to classify select stakes races in North America, at the request of European racing authorities, who had set up group races two years earlier. Always denoted with Roman numerals I, II, or III. Capitalized when used in race title (the Grade I Kentucky Derby).  

Graduate
1) Winning for the first time, horse or rider. 2) A horse that has moved up to allowance, stakes or handicap racing.  

Grandsire
The grandfather of a horse; father ("sire") of the horse's dam or sire.  

Gray
A horse color where the majority of the coat is a mixture of black and white hairs. The mane, tail and legs may be either black or gray unless white markings are present. Starting with foals of 1993, the color classifications gray and roan were combined as "roan or gray."  

Group Race
Established in 1971 by racing organizations in Britain, France, Germany and Italy to classify select stakes races outside North America. Collectively called "pattern races." Equivalent to North American graded races. Always denoted with Arabic numerals 1, 2, or 3. Capitalized when used in race title (the Group 1 Epsom Derby).  

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