Horse Racing in Australia is administered by
the Australian Racing Board, with each state's Principal Racing Authority agreeing to abide by, and to enforce, the Australian Rules of Racing.
horse racing is the third most attended spectator sport in Australia, behind Australian
rules football and rugby league, with almost 2 million admissions to the 379
racecourses throughout Australia in 2002-2003. Besides being a spectator sport, horse racing is also an industry, which provides
full- or part-time employment for almost 250,000 people, the equivalent of 77,000 jobs. About 300,000 people have a direct
interest as owners, or members of syndicates in the 31,000 horses in training in Australia.
Public interest in thoroughbred racing, especially during the main
and Autumn racing carnivals, has been growing in recent years with over 100,000 attracted to the running of the Melbourne Cup, the Victoria Derby and the VRC Oaks race meets. The Caulfield Cup and W S Cox Plate are also major attractions.
Throughout its history, horse racing has become part of the Australian
culture and has developed a rich and colourful language, as well as providing some of Australia's great sporting icons such as Phar Lap, Tulloch, Bernborough, Kingston Town, Northerly and Makybe Diva.