While a BMX competitor can switch bikes and keep winning competitions, a horse jockey sometimes is limited to how talented his current mount is. To sum up: in horse racing the horse is the star not the jockey, while in BMX it’s the biker and not the bike.
Strategy and Skill
While speed is important, success in BMX and horse racing necessitates a thorough grasp of strategy and an amazing degree of expertise.
BMX Racing: Riders must maneuver steep bends, jumps, and other obstacles while maintaining speed and avoiding opponents. It's more than simply cycling quickly; it's also about understanding when to push hard and when to save energy for the final sprint. Horse Racing: Jockeys must understand their horse's strengths and limitations, know when to hold back and when to let go, and read the competition to choose the best path to win. They, like BMX racers, must make split-second judgments that can be the difference between victory and failure.
The Need for Speed
Both sports are obsessed with speed, pushing the boundaries of what their athletes—human or equine—can do. A similar requirement for speed extends to the equipment utilized in each activity.
BMX Racing: BMX bikes are engineering marvels, built to be lightweight yet sturdy enough to survive the rigors of the track. Riders also use specific protection gear, like helmets and gloves, as a safeguard against falls.
Horse Racing: While horses may not wear the same gear, the equipment used, such as saddles, bridles, and racing silks, is carefully selected to enhance comfort, save weight, and maximize performance. And let’s not forget to keep the jockeys safe in case things go wrong.
Thrills for Spectators
Both BMX and horse racing provide fans with an adrenaline-fueled experience. The excitement of seeing rivals compete at breakneck speeds, the uncertainty of the outcome until the last second, and the sheer show of athleticism and coordination are all appealing in both sports.
Training and Dedication
Both BMX and horse racing involve extensive training, effort, and collaboration. BMX riders dedicate endless hours to improving their technique, increasing their strength, and mastering every inch of the course. Horse racing necessitates a strong relationship between the jockey and their horse since both must be in top physical condition to compete at the highest levels.
The Spirit of Both Sports
The most evident similarity between BMX racing and horse racing is the spirit of both sports. They are both lively, enthusiastic, adrenaline-pumping activities that spectators love to see. Even though BMX races attract far fewer spectators than some of the most popular horse races, they are still loud and energetic.
Close Up Action
Another similarity is the close-up action on the racetrack. Bikers and horse riders race against other competitors’ centimeters apart, where one wrong decision might have horrible consequences. The close action makes both sports exciting to watch, especially when they approach the finish line.
Most of the BMX races are organized on a dirt surface, the same as some of the most popular horse races like the Kentucky Derby. Although there are some BMX races on tarmac, most of them are on a loose surface which usually means that there are a lot of falls. Horse racing on the other hand is more stable on dirt surfaces since horses have much more grip compared to the two wheels on a bike.
Even though these two sports might not fall in the same category, they do share a lot of similarities. After all, we are talking about a rider and his companion whether it is a horse or a BMX bike with the goal to reach the finish line in the fastest time. The whole idea behind these two sports is pretty much identical. The only difference is the tool/animal used in the process.
So, if you are a horse racing fan and want to try something new, make sure to check out some of the local BMX races.