Let Us Take a Much Closer Look at the Horse Racing Scene in Sweden
Sweden has about 360,000 horses, which works out at around 39 horses for every 1,000 people. The Swedes absolutely love horses, with the horse industry being worth an estimated 50 billion SEK every year. Actually, after soccer, trotting and thoroughbred racing are Sweden’s most popular spectator sports with more than 1 million Swedes visiting Swedish race tracks each year. Below we are going to have a look at horse racing history in Sweden, the best places to watch it, as well as some helpful gambling tips.
Horse Racing History in Sweden
According to the record books, the first horse race in Sweden happened back in 1814, which means that horse racing has been a part of Swedish culture for more than 200 years. The first horse race in Sweden was held to celebrate the new King of Sweden, Charles XIV, taking over from Charles XIII. This race was run at Heden, which has the honour of being the first racecourse in Sweden.
After this first race, it was another 17 years before the next horse race took place in Sweden, and the Patriotic Association of Horse Culture came into being in 1831. The Chairman of this association was Count Magnus Brahe, who was part of the Royal circle. That very same year, the first horse race was run in Stockholm. Also in 1831, horse racing took place at Skane for the first time, which is a county in the south of the country.
During 1849 to 1867, there was a bit of a break from horse racing, and when it returned a new racing organisation was developed. The Swedish Jockey Club was created in 1890 and they were in charge of everything to do with horse racing in Sweden up until 1959, which is when Swedish Galop took over the reins (pun intended), and they are still in charge to this day.
What Exactly is Trotting?
Earlier in the introduction we told you that trotting is really popular in Sweden, and we are going to take a closer look at what it is.
Trotting, also known as harness racing and called “trav” in Swedish, is a type of horse racing that everyone in Sweden is familiar with. In fact, it is not an exaggeration to say that the whole of Sweden has a bit of a soft spot for trotting – there is even a TV channel that is completely dedicated to it. But what exactly is it, we hear you ask? Well, instead of their being a jockey on the horse, there is one that sits in a two-wheeled card that the horse is pulling.
To help you understand just how popular trotting is in Sweden, you will find no fewer than 33 tracks across the country. A lot of these tracks were built more than four decades ago, and they can be found in some of the country’s smaller cities to. They all come with excellent facilities and offer a lovely day out for families.
One of the reasons why trotting is as popular as it is that the racing occurs at a leisurely pace, and tactics are much more important than they are in flat racing, where speed is the name of the game. To put it another way, trotting is more popular because it is a reflection of Swedish lifestyle.
The people of Sweden feel that the origins of trav come from the north of the country. The workers up there will cut down some trees and then they would transport the wood to its required destination using a horse and cart. The workers would actually race each other just to add some fun to this boring job. It soon transformed into a sport and nowadays it is worth millions each year.
The Swedish not only love to watch trotting, but they also love to place bets on it. The most famous track for trotting is Solvalla, which is located in Stockholm. The biggest event for trotting is Elitloppet, and this race takes place at Solvalla, with the winner landing an impressive 2 million SEK. This prestigious race has been taking place each year since 1952.
Best Places to Enjoy Horse Racing in Sweden
We are now going to take a closer look at some of the best locations to enjoy quality horse racing events across Sweden.
If you love your thoroughbred racing, then this information will be of great interest to you. You will be happy to find out that there are more than 750 thoroughbred races across Sweden every year. Bro Park Racecourse, also known as Bro Park, is where thoroughbred racing is held. This racetrack can be located in the municipality of Upplands-Bro, which is 45-mins northeast of Stockholm. The first race took part here in June 2016 and over 10,000 showed up to watch the action.
However, if you go to Sweden and are nowhere close to this racetrack, then you have nothing to worry about as there are plenty of other racetracks where you can go to enjoy thoroughbred racing. Some other great places to watch horse racing include the Gothenburg Track in Gothenburg, the Strömsholm track that is located close to the tiny town of Västerås, and the Jägerso track that can be found in Malmö.
However, if you want to experience some traditional Swedish trotting while you are in Sweden, the following is information that you should read carefully.
Aby Racetrack happens to be the second biggest trotting racecourse in the country. It can be found in Gotehnburg, which is 10km south of Mölndal. This track has been hosting races since 1936, but it only became dedicated to trotting races in 1976. The major yearly trotting events that happen here are the Konung Gustaf V:s Pokal, Olympiatravet, Aby Stora Pris, and the Drottning Silvias Pokal.
Årjängstravet, which is found in Årjäng, is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful trotting tracks in the whole country. This racetrack was built by 8 men using just shovels, wheelbarrows, and horses. There are around 20 trotting events that are held here each year, with the Årjäng Big Sprinter Race being the biggest one.
The biggest trotting racecourse in Scandinavia is Solvalla, whcich can be found in Stockholm. Other big trotting events in Sweden includes the likes of Swedish Trotting Oaks, Swedish Trotting Criterium, and Jubileumspokalen. So, if you are in Sweden and want to experience some great trotting races, check out when the aforementioned races are taking place and plan a trip accordingly.
The trotting betting markets are pretty similar to those that you will find when you are betting on thoroughbred races. For instance, you can bet on the horse and jockey that will go on to win or whether you think they will come in the top three. There is one trotting bet that Swedes love to place, and this is the V75 bet that occurs each Saturday. Here you have to choose the winning horse from seven races in a row, and if you manage to guess correctly you will walk away with a huge profit. Below we are going to give you some gambling tips to keep in mind.
Do Plenty of Research
Before you go ahead and spend your hard-earned cash on some bets, you need to find out all the information that you can about the horses that will be running. Taking a look at how successful a horse has been performing is a very good way to see if they stand a good chance of winning once again. You need to also find out as much information as you can regarding the jockey. Many people do not pay much attention to the jockey, but if a horse is being ridden by a poor jockey, their chances of winning will diminish.
Pay Attention to the Odds
Each horse that runs in a race will have their own winning odds. While horses that have lower odds, also known as being the favourites, are not guaranteed a win, stats have shown that choosing the race favourite is something that pays off regularly. For instance, the favourite will win 33% of the time, and betting on the favourite to come first or second is something that comes off 53% of the time. Betting on the favourite to come first, second, or third is something that comes true 67% of the time.