Many animals are adopted and trained for the purpose of participating in sports. The animal can be completely or partially involved in the sport they are trained for. The most popular sports animals are dogs and horses. Some sports called the blood sports also exist which are very harsh and they put the life of the animal at risk. Many organizations are against such kind of cruelty and also it is against the law in many countries.
Animals were first domesticated for the purpose of hunting in the beginning. This necessity later turned into a sport, but the animals were still involved. This sport was meant for the rich people and the royal family, in the medieval period. Hunters rode horses and dogs accompanied them. The sport was sometimes dangerous when lions and other exotic animals were hunted. While the horses chased the animal, the dogs and hounds were trained to actually attack the animal. But now hunting is banned in almost all the countries.
The most common sports involving pets is horse riding. In some events a human rider mounts the horse and in others the horse competes without the human being. This modern sport is a derivative of the chariot race which was held in the Roman and ancient Greek times. Dogsled racing is another racing event involving dogs. It is a timed winter sport, where dogs are tied to sledges, which pull it, while the driver stands on the sledge. They need to run on a marked course and whichever team finishes first is declared as the winner.
Greyhound racing is also another animal sport. Actually, in the 1800s, greyhounds were brought from Europe to the United States to control the increasing hare population. Breeders then thought of involving this animal in racing and hence, this was how greyhound racing started. Also, there are camel races involving camels. But this race is sometimes objected because the riders in such races are small kids. Pigeon racing is a not so popular sport, involving trained racing pigeons. The pigeons are taken away from their loft and then they are made to race. Whoever reaches the home first wins the race. Beatle races are also popular in Asia.
Jousting sport was developed in the fourteen century, where knights ride on the back of the horse and compete with each other. Horses are also trained for the sport polo. There are two teams, which compete with each other. The competitor rides the horse and at the same time hits the ball with the help of mallets. The team, which makes the highest score, is the winning team. As the start of the twentieth century, polo involved elephants and it was considered as a royal sport back then. Pole bending involves a horse and a horse rider. The horse has to run on a serpentine path, which has six poles in one line. If the horse knocks down any of the pole, the rider and the horse are immediately disqualified.
Show jumping also involves horses. The horse has to jump over fences with the jockey on their back. Horse ballet is another sport involving horses. Dogs are given training to participate in sports such as dog agility, and sheepdog trails. Dogs also participate in dog shows. It is a competition where dogs of certain breed compete with each other. Things such as looks, intelligence, grace, etc, of the individual dog are considered. Sports involving animals, which are cruel are bullfighting, camel wrestling, cockfighting, and cow fighting.