UR is an abbreviation of unseated rider, which describes what can happen to a horse in a race when they don’t complete. The jockey, in other words, gets unshipped from the saddle. If you want a clearer understanding of what does UR mean in horse racing terms, then we’re here to give you more insight and information on the subject. We touch on examples of horses unseating their riders, what causes it and even other reasons for not making round to the finish.
A look through past form figures of runners from today’s race cards and results may include letters as well as numbers. If there’s a U next to a horse’s name, then it means they unseated rider in that race. In more detailed horse racing results, a comment in-running is also present alongside its finishing position. This describes what happens to every runner.
When a racehorse doesn’t complete, i.e. pass the winning post on the track, there’s a reason why. Unseating rider is just as common, if not more so than most other explanations as to what happened out there. It may be the result of a mistake or just plain bad luck, but it’s a regular occurrence.
You will see UR in horse racing over jumps in the National Hunt code more often than in Flat races. That doesn’t mean it never happens in races where no obstacles are involved, though. Jumping hurdles and fences makes it much more likely as there is greater margin for error on landing when clearing them.
Independent of any obstacles, unseating the rider could still happen if the saddle slipped to such an extent that it no longer helped the jockey to remain balanced on the horse. If a key part of the tack such as the girth were to snap, then that too would satisfy the UR meaning.
Stepping on a patch of false ground could end up in a horse unseating the rider well. The legs of these thoroughbred animals remain fragile. If they lose their footing, then the jockey may end up on the ground. That should give you a broader understand of what does UR mean in horse racing circles and how it happens.
The abbreviation UR in horse racing is just one of many reasons why participants don’t finish. Here are the others:
Now that we’ve dealt with what does UR mean in horse racing and other terms that apply to non-finishers, many punters will be wondering what, if anything, can you do about insuring against it? This is where the concept of Faller Insurance when betting on horse racing comes in handy. There are no standard rules with how this works, however, so every bookies has different ones.
With Coral, for instance, their Fail to Finish betting offer for existing customers covers horses not completing for any reason. Unseating rider if just one such scenario where that is in place. This applies to selected meetings.
This contrasts sharply with QuinnBet and their Fallers Insurance. The terms and conditions of their deal say if your horse unseats or gets brought down that the free bet up to £10 does not apply. You must also bet in a selected race that has a minimum of six runners.
Over at Paddy Power, meanwhile, their Faller Insurance isn’t an offer but a separate market with the fact that you receive a cash refund factored in to the prices. If your horse falls, unseats the jockey or is brought down, then you get your money back.
In other words, depending on which of the leading betting sites in the UK that you wager with, faller insurance may or may not cover unseats. The best online bookmakers will compensate you in some way. That could be as bonus funds or your money back as cash. It simply depends who you gamble with.
There are some very famous examples of horses unseating riders which happened on some of grandest stages in the sports and biggest races. Not that we want to rub it in, but here are two notable occasions from recent years where unseated rider happened in major events.
After placing third and second in the Epsom and Irish Derbies, Idaho came out and won the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes at York. That has historically been among the better trials for the St Leger, the fifth and final British Classic of the Flat season. Off the back this, trainer Aidan O’Brien sent his Galileo colt to Doncaster where bookmakers had him odds-on but ultimately false favourite at 4/6.
After spending much of the race covered up, Idaho tracked the leaders into the home straight but suddenly took a bad step approaching three furlongs. It caused him to stumble and unseat rider Seamie Heffernan. With Idaho crashing out of the race, 22/1 outsider Harbour Law sprang a shock on Town Moor and won the St Leger for the Laura Mongan stable based at Epsom.
Father-son trainer-jockey combination of Gary and Jamie Moore thought Goshen was the goods after an unbeaten juvenile hurdle campaign. All roads led to Cheltenham after wide-margin wins at Fontwell, Sandown and Ascot. The Triumph Hurdle that kicks off Gold Cup day at the Festival saw bookies running for cover.
Sent off the 5/2 favourite, Goshen raced keenly and tracked the leaders before easing into second place approaching the fifth hurdle. He swung off the home turn into the lead and went wide up the straight. Many horses lose at Cheltenham because of the punishing uphill climb to the winning post, but Goshen made a race-ending mistake at the final flight when 10 lengths clear of the field and in firm command. He unseated his rider with audible gasps from the Festival crowd, leaving Willie Mullins filly Burning Victory to come off the pace and win.
Unseated rider means that a horse has unshipped their jockey during the race. Once this happens, they are no longer active participants in the events. Back in the day, jockeys could remount and continue but the rules changed at the end of 2009 and are different now.
The letter U will appear in amongst a horse’s figures in the form guide if they’ve previously unseated their rider.
The U in horse racing form figures is another abbreviation for unseated rider. UR is common in results, but past horse form figures denote this with a simple capital letter U.
What does UR mean in horse racing betting? Well, unless you have faller insurance covering this eventuality, your wager is lost. Unseating the rider thus has a major impact on your bets.
This depends on the betting market and terms of the wager. If such insurance is in place, then you will get a full cash refund. The deal offered by bookies may instead be your stake returned as a free bet up to a set amount. You can also just plain lose the wager.
Yes, but it’s not unheard of in Flat racing by any means. The race types most commonly associates with horse unseating their rider at those held under the National Hunt code. Think the Grand National at Aintree Racecourse. Steeplechases are the type of race where this happens most often.