Furlong is a term unique to horse racing, and it’s the one I’m asked to describe the most. The majority of the time, people ask us what a furlong is and why it’s used in equine competitions. So we thought we’d team up with Timeform, who are offering free bets UK, to explain this to all you horse racing enthusiasts.
A furlong is a long-standing English unit of distance that was first used in the late 13th or early 14th centuries and represents 220 yards, which is a quarter-mile. During the creation of horse racing in England in the 16th century, the furlong was used as a measure for racecourses.
A furlong is an eighth of a mile, which most horse racing enthusiasts are familiar with. Did you know that the Bible refers to it or that it continues to be used on traffic signs in some areas? Furlong is a one-of-a-kind term with a fascinating history.
A furlong is a measurement in horse racing that is sometimes used, but where did the term originate, and how long is a furlong? I’ll answer these and other queries.
One furlong equals one-eighth of a mile, 220 yards, 660 feet, 0.2 kilometers and 201.1 meters.
The Romans used the term millesimal to designate a stadium length as well as the Roman mile. Furlong was equal to one-eighth of a Roman mile; however, it did not translate to an eighth of an English mile. Rather than disrupting land measurement practices, England changed its mile into the same as that of the Romans. In the early 1300s, England established a standard of eight furlongs for the mile and a rod was defined as 40 rods.
The length of a rod, yard and foot were all defined by these standards. A rod was 16.5 feet or 5.5 yards long during Queen Elizabeth I’s reign in the 16th century. During her reign in the 16th century, Queen Elizabeth established these measurements as national standards.
Horse racing is traditionally measured in furlongs because it is a traditional thing. You can see this in the breeding criteria, track names, and naming restrictions. In the 1500s, when horse racing was formalised in England, furlongs were used as the unit of measurement to create racecourses.
The distance of a horse race is measured in furlongs, which equals 1/8 mile or 220 yards. Furlongs are used to describe races that are less than a mile long. When a competition grows longer than a mile, it is referred to in fractions of a mile.
Although a six-furlong race is referred to as a three-quarter mile, the mile and a quarter race is referred to as a mile and quarter, not a mile and four furlongs. Race distances shorter than one mile are most often used in horse racing.
Quarter poles (2 furlongs) are used to determine the starting times of horses. These quarter-pole timings are why Thoroughbreds have a faster record at this distance.
A Thoroughbred’s time is measured every 220 yards, as opposed to a quarter-mile race for Quarterhorses. A beginning advantage gives them an edge. A furlong is abbreviated as f in horse racing. So if you see 4(f) or 6(f), you know it’s a half-mile race or a three-quarter-mile race, respectively.
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