Rules and Prizes


A table of race horses and their weights located on page 6 of Star of Chile, no. 12, October 22, 1904.

The newspaper also provides us with valuable information about early 20th century horseracing. According to The Star of Chile, different types of race were categorized according to the horses' ages, the distance run, and the rules applied. For example, in a handicap - a race "where each horse is allocated a weight, according to its ability, in an attempt to equalise every horse's chance of winning" (Racing Explained, n.d.), rules stated that faster horses must carry heavier weights than slower horses.

Then as now, betting relied on the skill of comparative analysis, weighing the extent to which horses could overcome handicap weights, horses' preference for fast versus sloppy tracks or for distances ranging from 1200 meters to over 5000 meters, and so on. In general, the longer the race, the more valuable the prize, yet there were significant discrepancies in prizes awarded to winners versus runners up. For example, Valparaiso Sporting Club awarded the 1st prize winner 3000$, the 2nd only 200$.

All of these details, ranging from information on horses through the structural conditions of tracks to prize values, were found in The Star of Chile, to be anticipated and enjoyed by its readers every week.


Itemizing Race Horses and Their Weight as Two Distances Division from Star of Chile, no. 12, October 22, 1904, 6.

Racing Explained, “What is a handicap race?”, Accessed July 13, 2021.

Horse Racing
Rules and Prizes