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The parade is a term used predominately in horse racing and is used to describe when the horses are ‘paraded’ around the parade ring prior to the start of the race.
This is done to give trainers, owners and punters a chance to see up close the horses that are set to contest the race and allows a punter in particular to form an assessment of the horse they are planning to back.
Parade can also be loosely used in sports such as football, in the pre-match line-up prior to kick-off, or the NFL, when players are introduced prior to the draft.
With the parade being most common in horse racing, it is here that the parade has most importance too, when it comes to sports betting.
There are few sports where a punter gets a close up of a participant prior to the event and is able to garner tell-tale signs about how said participant may perform before making a bet.
This is vital in horse racing as the general rule is that if a horse is unsettled in the parade, then it is likely there is something slightly wrong with the animal, possibly mentally. Even if backed as the pre-race favourite, most punters will then avoid that horse in the betting, because of its display in the parade ring.
There are strict rules attached to the parade of horse at a meet.
For example, only the clerk of the course or his/her representative can initiate the parade and horses are only permitted to enter the parade if they have been declared to race under rule (F)89 and has been advertised for sale on the racecard.