What Does PU Mean in Horse Racing?

In horse racing and betting, acronyms play a crucial role in conveying specific scenarios.

One such term is “PU,” which holds significant meaning for both enthusiasts and bettors.

Definition of PU

“PU” stands for “Pulled Up,” a term used in horse racing. It refers to a situation where a jockey decides to stop a horse during the race, effectively withdrawing it from competition before the race concludes.

Reasons for a Horse Being Pulled Up

A horse being “Pulled Up” (PU) in a race can happen due to several reasons:

  1. Health and Well-being: The primary reason is concern for the horse’s health1. If a horse shows signs of distress, injury, or extreme fatigue, the jockey will pull it up to prevent further harm.
  2. Performance Issues: If a horse is not performing well, significantly lagging behind others, or showing an inability to keep pace, the jockey might decide to pull up to save the horse’s energy and strength for future races.
  3. Safety Concerns: Safety is another critical factor. Hazardous track conditions, adverse weather, or equipment malfunctions can lead the jockey to pull up the horse to prevent accidents.
  4. Tactical Decisions: Occasionally, a jockey might pull up a horse for tactical reasons, such as if the race is not going according to the planned strategy, although this is less common.

Understanding these reasons is important for bettors and racing enthusiasts, as it provides insight into a horse’s overall form and fitness.

Impact of PU on Betting

The impact of “Pulled Up” (PU) on betting in horse racing is significant:

  1. Loss of Bets on PU Horse: When a horse is pulled up and does not finish the race, bets placed on that horse are typically lost. This is because a horse that does not complete the race is considered a non-finisher.
  2. Altered Betting Odds for Other Horses: The withdrawal of a horse during the race can affect the odds and potential outcomes for the remaining horses. With one less competitor, the dynamics and probabilities of the race change.
  3. Future Betting Considerations: A history of being pulled up can influence future betting. Bettors might be cautious about betting on horses that have been pulled up frequently, as it could indicate underlying issues with performance or health.

In summary, a PU event directly impacts the outcome of bets placed on the affected horse and can also alter the betting landscape for the rest of the field, influencing strategies and decisions for both current and future races.

Importance of Understanding PU

Understanding the significance of “Pulled Up” (PU) in horse racing is important for several reasons:

  1. Informed Betting Decisions: Bettors need to be aware of the possibility of a horse being pulled up. This knowledge is particularly crucial in races with challenging conditions or longer distances, where the likelihood of PU may be higher.
  2. Analysing Horse and Jockey Performance: A history of horses being pulled up can indicate issues with their health, stamina, or suitability for certain types of races. Similarly, a jockey’s decision-making and experience in handling such situations are vital factors in race outcomes.
  3. Strategic Considerations: For those involved in horse racing, either as fans or bettors, understanding PU helps in forming more strategic and educated choices. It highlights the unpredictable nature of horse racing and the need to consider a range of factors when evaluating race participants.

In essence, knowledge of PU incidents aids in a deeper understanding of the complexities of horse racing, contributing to more nuanced insights and strategies in both watching and betting on the sport.

Do You Get Money Back if Horse Pulls Up?

Whether you get your money back if a horse pulls up in a race depends on the specific betting rules and the type of bet you have placed:

  1. Standard Bets: Generally, in a standard win or each-way bet, if your horse is pulled up and does not finish the race, you lose your bet. The horse is considered a non-finisher, and thus the bet is unsuccessful.
  2. Non-Runner No Bet (NRNB): Some bookmakers offer NRNB for certain races, especially big events. If your horse is declared a non-runner before the race starts, your stake is returned. However, this typically does not apply to horses pulled up once the race has begun.
  3. Insurance Bets: Certain bookmakers might offer betting insurance, where your stake is returned if your horse fails to finish the race for any reason, including being pulled up. However, this type of bet usually comes with specific terms and conditions.
  4. Special Promotions: Occasionally, bookmakers may have special promotions or conditions where stakes are returned for horses that are pulled up, but these are not standard and vary between bookmakers and races.

It’s important to check the specific rules of your bet and the policies of the bookmaker you’re betting with to understand the implications of a horse being pulled up on your wager.

Final Thoughts

Understanding “PU” in horse racing is essential for bettors and fans.

It signifies a horse being pulled up by the jockey and affects both the race outcome and betting.

Knowledge of PU incidents helps in assessing a horse’s form and making informed betting choices.


What does PU mean in horse racing?

In horse racing, “PU” stands for “Pulled Up,” indicating that a jockey has stopped the horse and withdrawn it from the race before finishing. This decision is often made due to the horse’s health concerns, safety issues, or poor performance. A horse that is pulled up is considered a non-finisher in the race.

What happens when a horse pulls up?

When a horse pulls up in a race, it means the jockey has decided to stop the horse and withdraw it from the race before reaching the finish line. This action is usually taken due to health concerns for the horse, safety issues, or poor performance. As a result, the horse is considered a non-finisher, and bets placed on it typically result in a loss.

Find out more about horse racing betting:


  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32925377/ ↩︎