Featured Video: Kangaroo in a Horse Race

An examination of the important question: Could a kangaroo beat a Thoroughbred in a race?


On Tuesday, a late entry joined a Thoroughbred race at Cessnock Race Track in a rural section of New South Wales, Australia. A kangaroo appeared along the inside rail and stuck with the pack for a while before bolting out of there.

Did the ‘roo have a chance at winning? According to speedofanimals.com (yep), a red kangaroo can reach speeds of 44mph for short distances, which would certainly allow one to stick with the horses for a while. Typically they hop along at a more leisurely 13-16mph. The website states that they can maintain a speed of 25 mph for around 2 kilometers, which is close to the distance of Tuesday’s kangaroo-crashed race. Not a bad hopping speed, but not good enough to keep up with fit Thoroughbreds who can race at speeds above 40 mph.

Kangaroo in a horse race


The kangaroo’s dart through the pack was a risky move, but no horses, riders, or marsupials were injured in the incident.

The winning jockey, Robert Thompson, later said that the kangaroo’s appearance was part of his game plan to distract his competitors, according to stuff.co.nz.

The kangaroo was not available for comment.

Subscribe now

Previous articleNew Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program Celebrates 25th Anniversary
Next articleManaging Buttercups in Horse Pastures
Leslie Potter is a graduate of William Woods University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Equestrian Science with a concentration in saddle seat riding and a minor in Journalism/Mass Communications. She is currently a writer and photographer in Lexington, Ky.Potter worked as a barn manager and riding instructor and was a freelance reporter and photographer for the Horsemen's Yankee Pedlar and Saddle Horse Report before moving to Lexington to join Horse Illustrated as Web Editor from 2008 to 2019. Her current equestrian pursuits include being a grown-up lesson kid at an eventing barn and trail riding with her senior Morgan gelding, Snoopy.


  1. Oh MY, sure glad he could scoot along like that and then right between them all without being runned down! Glad that the horses didn’t spook either!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here