What Does ‘Pulled Up’ Mean In Horse Racing?

If you are a fan of horse racing you will know that it is littered with its own unique terminology that describes the different facets of the sport.

Learning terms such as banker, objection, handicap, under orders and many more can help to elevate your enjoyment of racing to the next level. The knowledge will also improve your chances of making a profit from horse racing betting, as it will help you avoid making costly mistakes when placing wagers.

One of the most common terms in horse racing is ‘pulled up’, but what does it mean? Read on as we take a closer look.

Looking After The Horses

Animal welfare is hugely important in racing and the jockeys play a major role in ensuring that the horses are well looked after during a race.

Horses can be pulled up for numerous reasons including tiredness, injury, risk of sustaining an injury and breathing difficulties.

Pulling a horse up tends to be a more common sight in jump racing, particularly in long-distance races like the Grand National or when ground conditions are testing.

Making a bad mistake at a hurdle or fence often results in jockeys pulling up a horse in order to ensure that it doesn’t do itself any damage at the next obstacle.

Horses are sometimes pulled up in flat racing, although the occurrences tend to be much less frequent than is seen over jumps.

Heartbreak May Be A Moment Away

The 2019 Cheltenham Festival provided a devastating example of the risks that horses take when they are competing in races.

Sir Erec was a heavily backed favourite for the Triumph Hurdle after recording two impressive victories at Leopardstown earlier in the season.

He was near the head of the field during the race, but was quickly pulled up by jockey Mark Walsh after jumping the fourth hurdle. The horse had badly fractured one its legs and unfortunately had to be put down, casting a shadow over the rest of the day’s racing.

Sir Erec had lost a shoe prior to the race and had to be re-plated, although experts claimed this was not linked to his subsequent injury.

Saving The Horse For Another Day

As highlighted by Irish superstar Faugheen, being pulled up in a race doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing.

Willie Mullins’ charge had won a plethora of big races including the Champion Hurdle in 2015 and the Irish equivalent the following year.

However, his career looked to be on the slide after being pulled up in the December Festival Hurdle at Leopardstown at the end of 2017. He was pulled up again at Aintree the following season, but returned in style during the 2019/20 campaign to star as a novice chaser.

Faugheen produced a brave display to finish third in the Marsh Chase at this year’s Cheltenham Festival, highlighting that horses can bounce back from being pulled up.