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Gelding is a method of attitude adjustment in a racehorse by essentially castrating the horse in a bid to reduce the testosterone in a colt. This is because too much testosterone can make a horse behave erratically.
Stables may consider gelding a horse in order to make it easier to train as their focus is purely on the racing at hand and attempting to breed with fillies.
There is also an argument that this improvement in training ability and focus enables a gelded horse to improve its speed and consistency far greater than an ungelded horse.
However, if a horse is to be used for breeding then gelding or turning a horse into an equine eunuch cannot be done.
Punters will take into serious consideration whether a horse has been through the gelding process or not.
This is because colts that have not been gelded can often be unpredictable and can be identified clearly as the horse is led to the start line.
An example of this is during the Grand National when a horse is particularly agitated on the walk round. They are expending unnecessary energy and are clearly unfocused on the race at hand, which could lead to a bettor to avoiding placing a bet on said horse.
However, there are pros and cons to both gelded and ungelded colts with behaviour effecting the punter’s betting selections.
In 2003, it was reported that 25.8% of all thoroughbred race horses that raced in North America were geldings, with most of the horses gelded in their first year of life.
That number did not include the less glamorous quarter horses which are more commonly gelded.