Horse racing is a sport that goes under the radar, at least when it comes to popularity compared to other sports.

But in reality, the situation is a bit different.

Even though horse racing might look like a non-popular subject to talk about, there are actually a lot of fans from all around the world. Did you know that in 2020, it is estimated that around 1.45 billion people have watched or bet on horse racing?

This means that horse racing is more popular than American Football, Basketball, Golf, and Baseball with each having around 500 million fans.

What makes horse racing truly unique is its presence in different regions all around the globe. This makes the sport heaven for horse racing enthusiasts that also like to travel.

This inspired us to go on a search for the top 5 destinations that every horse racing enthusiast needs to visit.

So, get your Derby hat on, and check your passport, check the racing schedule on TwinSpires as we are leaving on a horse racing journey that you won’t forget.

1. Kentucky, USA


We will start with the obvious one, but very underestimated. Kentucky is nested in the heart of the United States and it is one of the few places in the world where horse racing is as big as religion.

Most people consider Kentucky to be the “Horse Capital of the World” due to its rich equestrian history, and of course, it is home to the world-renowned Kentucky Derby.

But we say underestimated just because people always tie Kentucky, with the Kentucky Derby in May, but in reality, it has a lot more to offer.

With its rolling hills, sprawling farms, and elegant racecourses, Kentucky offers a glimpse into the intricate world of thoroughbred breeding and racing.

It is a place where you can learn more about the sport’s history, and all the processes that are usually hidden away from the eyes of fans. Visitors can explore the Kentucky Horse Park, a living museum dedicated to the equine world, or witness the exciting action at the Keeneland Race Course, where tradition meets modern excellence.

So, if you’ve never been to Kentucky and you are a horse racing enthusiast, this should be number 1 on your bucket list. And don’t worry if you miss the Kentucky Derby, there is still plenty of horse amusement all around the state.

2. England, UK


Now we go back to Europe, to a place that can be considered the birthplace of horse racing. England is the place where the first modern horse race was introduced in 1776, and since then, the locals spread the sport all around the world with colonization.

It is safe to say that horse racing wouldn’t be at this stage if it wasn’t for England and the UK in general.

Let’s take a look at the Kentucky Derby, for example, which is considered one of the most popular races in the world.

Did you know that the first running of the Kentucky Derby in 1875 was actually inspired by the Epsom Derby in England? Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark traveled to England to study how horse racing was down, which lead to the birth of the Kentucky Derby.

England is heaven for horse racing enthusiasts. There are more than 50 racecourses just in England, which means that the horse racing action never stops throughout the year.

Some of the most popular races in England are the Grand National, the Oaks, the St. Leger, and the Epsom Derby. Also, events like the Royal Ascot and Cheltenham Festival must be witnessed by every horse racing enthusiast.

3. Melbourne, Australia


United Kingdom and the Down Under – Australia, have always shared many similarities, at least when it comes to sports. This is why it is not surprising to find out that Australia also has a good horse racing culture.

New research found that 25% of all people above the age of 14 in Australia are interested in horse racing.

But Australia is a big place, and where should you go?

Melbourne is a good place to start.

Melbourne in Australia emerges as a must-visit destination for horse racing enthusiasts.

The Melbourne Cup, often dubbed “the race that stops a nation,” captures the attention of the entire continent. The Flemington Racecourse comes alive with vibrant fashion, extravagant hats, and a palpable festive atmosphere.

4. Dubai, UAE


Before we move back to Europe, we have another surprise destination that managed to get into the top tourist destinations for horse racing enthusiasts recently.

Yes, we are talking about Dubai, the city where sports are pushed to new limits as a way for them to promote tourism.

Since horse racing is a sport always associated with money, there isn’t a better place than Dubai.

The Meydan Racecourse, an architectural marvel, hosts the Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest horse race.

With its state-of-the-art facilities and international allure, Dubai caters to horse racing enthusiasts seeking a blend of luxury and competition.

One of the downsides of Dubai is that it is regulated by strict Islamic Shariah Laws, meaning that all gambling activities are prohibited.

This means that even though Dubai hosts some of the richest races in the world, you won’t be allowed to place bets on the track. There are exceptions however, horse racing betting is allowed at the Nad Al Sheba and Jebel Ali race courses.

5. Chantilly, France


France is another country where horse racing is quite popular, which makes it a top tourist destination for every horse racing enthusiast.

But before you book your flight to France, put your adventure vest on and travel to Chantilly. A special heartwarming place in the center of France that boasts a rich horse racing tradition.

The Chantilly Racecourse, set against the stunning backdrop of the Château de Chantilly, exudes sophistication. The city is rich with horse racing history and you can learn more about the sport and the care process of horses first-hand.

But if you want the glamour and drama of huge races, then Paris should be your spot.

The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, one of the world’s most prestigious turf races, graces this course annually, drawing racing enthusiasts and royalty alike.

Final Words

These are some of the best places in the world that every horse racing enthusiast should visit. They tick all checkboxes when it comes to horse racing. They have rich history and tradition, you can learn more about horse racing as a sport, and of course, are home to some of the most popular races in the world.