How Long Is A Furlong (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 201.1680 meters (220 yards)

There are various kinds of standard and measuring units in the world, which are used to measure and calculate all the constant and variable values obtained in the world. These values and units can be used in formulae and they can also be used individually. Substituting the values in the formulae or using the formula individually can result in getting answers that cannot be calculated manually. Some units can be used to measure solid, while some can be used to calculate the amount of liquid and solid.

Some units can be used to measure distance and length, while some can be used to measure the weight of both living and non-living organisms. Among many other units used, some units are especially used in horse racing. Like every other sport, horse racing has its unique terms and values. One unit that is most commonly used in horse racing is furlong, which is also used to measure distance.

There are many things to learn about the unit, like when it was first used and standardized, what the value measures, and what it means in horse racing and racecourses. A furlong is equal to approximately 201 meters.

How Long Is A Furlong?

Timeline and valueTime
Standardized onLate 13th century
Accepted on16th century
Value of 1 furlong in yards and meters220 yards i.e. approximately 201 meters

The unit “furlong” was first originated between the late 13th and 14th centuries. The unit was first coined in England and after they were used a while, the unit was standardized in the 16th century by the Queen of England. One furlong equals 200 yards and approximately about 201 meters. The furlong was accepted as a unit of measure in horse racing, in England, and then the usage of the unit spread all around the world. Furlong is the most commonly used unit of measure in racecourses and horse racing.

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Every horse racing fan knows that a furlong is one-eighth of a mile, 660 feet, and 0.2 kilometers. Just like every other word, the word furlong also has its root. The word furlong was first derived from the word “furlong”, from Old English. Since Old English is no more in use, the word furlong transformed into furlong. The Old English was used for around 700 years, and only after that, the word transformed.

Some others say that the word furlong is a combination of two words, “fur” and “lang”, where furh means furrow, a trench made into the field using a plow. Lang means the length, and here it indicated the length of the furrow. In the old days, one furlong was calculated as a trench’s distance of one acre, which can be roughly transformed into 40 rods.

Why Is A Furlong That Long?

Though the word was first brought into popularity by the Engish, it was used by Romans even before that. They calculated one furlong as one-eight of a Roman mile. This was converted by the English, by calculating one English mile as eight furlongs. This change was made in the late 13th century and the standards were used to establish the length in terms of the rod, foot, and yards. After the units were found reliable, Queen Elizabeth of England standardized this and established these measures as national standards.

Nowadays, a furlong is used very rarely anywhere other than in the field of horseracing. The Union of Myanmar, known to many as Burma uses furlong to note down the distances in highway signs, and English use furlongs to measure their canals, along with miles.

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Conclusion

Another interesting fact about furlong is that one acre is a one-furlong long rectangle, with a width of 4 rods. On the other hand, the Eiffel Tower, which is typically the largest structure in Paris, is about 1.610 furlongs. Normally, the horseraces, when exceeded by a mile, they are calculated by fractions of a mile.

Horse races that take place less than a mile, can be referred to using furlongs. Normally, a three-quarter-mile race can be otherwise measured and listed as six furlongs. Yet, a race of a mile and a quarter can only be known as a mile and a quarter race and not as a mile and four furlongs, and furlongs are widely used because most of the horses initially race for a distance normally less than a mile.

References

  1. https://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/abs/10.2460/ajvr.68.7.760
  2. https://europepmc.org/article/med/8915427
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