Horse Racing Countries You May Have Overlooked

March 2, 2023

There are many different racing nations in which exciting events are taking part. Away from the US and European soil, huge prize funds are attracting the best steeds the world can offer. Some of the nations where racing is big may surprise you, so read on for our pick of the three you may have overlooked. 

Hong Kong

The hard part is finding a place to watch racing from these countries. Luckily, sports streaming is more popular than ever in the US. According to ExpressVPN’s helpful infographic, football, basketball, and hockey remain the most streamed sports. Yet, traditionally American sports such as baseball are losing popularity to games like soccer. Horse racing still has a long way to go, but as online sportsbooks become more prevalent in many states, their popularity is bound to increase. 

One place you may wish to watch engaging horse racing from that you possibly have overlooked is Hong Kong. This tiny state is more known for its financial sector and glittering high-rise skyline. Even so, all the money in the city has buoyed a fantastic horse racing industry. It is so established; it is now worth over $7 billion per annum. 

There are around 700 races per year, all organized by the Hong Kong Jockey’s association. Housed in the Happy Valley district, it is also home to the Asian Racing Federation


Japan is another Asian country people tend to overlook when they think of horse racing. This may be because many people view it as an industrial and technological country. While this is true, much of it is rural and agricultural, and this is where the love of horses is born. Japan also has a longstanding and beloved tradition of horse racing, which dates back to the beginning of the 8th century.

The racing industry in the country pulls in over $19 billion a year in revenue. Its jewel in the crown is the Japan Cup, once the richest turf race in the world, with a prize pot of over $4 million. For a country so small in size, it manages to hold 21,000 races a year, more than any other country. 


A fairly new economic powerhouse, it seems there is nothing the United Arab Emirates does not have. With a country steeped in horse-rearing tradition and a fairly recent influx of extreme wealth, it is understandable the racing scene has grown in popularity here. 

Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has had a love of horses since he was a child. This has led to the creation of racing days where a $35 million prize pot is not uncommon. Not only do local Arabic thoroughbreds participate in races, but also in horse shows and beauty contests. 

There are many other countries, such as France and Australia, where racing is big business. Yet these are places you may not expect, that you may combine with a racing holiday or just decide to watch and have a bet on once in a while.

PHOTOS: JTW Equine Images

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