Biggest Horse Racing Betting Scandals

People have various hobbies. One of the most famous ones is, of course, sports; no matter whether watching or playing, people have been engaging in them for a long time. However, there are few sports that have such a rich history as horse racing. Today, it remains an expensive sport, and there are many people who are interested in placing a few bets to make it more interesting. Fortunately, that is now easier to do than ever, when websites like offer guides for beginners, tips, odds, and much more, to make the horse racing betting experience more enjoyable. Unfortunately, no sport is immune to tampering and fixing, for certain people to profit illegally from the outcome of a match or a race. This is also true for horse racing, and here are some of the biggest scandals in the history of horse racing.


This horse from Australia was the absolute champion and very well-known in the 1930s. However, aside from 23 wins that he recorded officially, he scored at least a dozen more under false identities. Disguising Erbie also included covering the white streak that went down his nose with dye in order to avoid suspicion, which is how he was identified in the end, after which the horse was forever banned from racing.

The 2002 Breeders’ Cup

This one does not have anything to do with horses, but rather with computers. Chris Hahn, a programmer, along with two of his friends attempted to hack the betting system in order to win three million dollars. However, due to one mismatch, one of the three men ended up winning the whole amount, which is how the trio was brought to justice.

Damian Oliver

The performance of any athlete is debatable if they put money on their opponent. This incident took place in 2010, and suspicions arose when Damian Oliver, a jockey, bet ten thousand dollars on a different horse in the same race. After the race, he ended up with a profit of over eleven thousand dollars, which proved that he participated in the fixing of the race. The consequence of his actions was that he was banned from racing for eight months.

Fine Cotton

The Fine Cotton scam took place in 1984. Fine Cotton is the name of a thoroughbred horse that was supposed to be replaced by a better horse in a race, in order to collect the winnings. However, the initial replacement horse was injured sometime before the race, so the people behind the plan had to find another replacement, which was named Bold Personality. However, the horse was bay, and Fine Cotton was brown and had white spots at the back of her legs. They then decided to dye the entire horse with hair dye, and bleach the back of its legs. Bold Personality managed to win the race; however, the masterminds that came up with the idea somehow forgot about bleaching and used white paint on its legs, which caused immediate suspicion. Soon after, all of the participants were banned from racing for life.