THERE IS NO WAY TO CHEAT AT THE RACES!!
The -lag- some players experience is caused by the large amount of players moving through a single area at one time. This happens on all other MMOs, and is not someone trying to cheat to get an advantage.
Players who consistently win have earned it. They have taken the time and effort to purchase the best gear, train their horses to the top level, and practice the course. It irritates me to no end to see people get upset because someone else won the race. That attitude is utterly rude, and I imagine you would be upset if it was reversed. So, please don’t do it.
The exact times (the exact minute) of the race is random each day, but they happen about the same time each day, within +/- 10 minutes of the hour.
There are two championship races each day (one in the morning and one in the evening, for each location). You will get a notice pop up on your page an hour and a half before the race begins (and every half hour until the race starts). I advise you log on at least twenty minutes before the race times to make sure you get your chores done and be ready for the race. Put on your best tack and outfit before the race. I see too many people with disco clothes (which give no stat boosts at all) and no saddle or blanket on their horse, in the race, and then complain they did not win. You may not win if you do not have the best gear, and you definitely won’t win if you have no gear on at all. Along with tack, practice is the only way to get better. This means you will have to run the race a lot if you want to get good at it. They are not easy tracks, and even if you have the best gear, if you cannot make it over the jumps and around obstacles, you will not win. Your horse will run its fastest when it is very happy (the dark green :D ), so make sure you take care of your horse every day. Also be sure to level up your horse. The current highest level (even if you are not a Star Rider) is 15 that your horse can get to. You can level up your horse by completing the daily quest races.
Time zones only apply if your country has multiple time zones per server. Please know that it may be different for each time zone (this is why I did not post specific hours) so you may need to be online longer throughout the day to figure out exactly what time they are for you. They do happen at a regular interval (except the Firgrove race? Can someone confirm this?).
There are currently four championship races: Moorland, Goldenhills Valley, Firgrove, Valedale. All four races give rosettes with styles unique to that race.
There is a bug I have found with entering the races. It doesn’t happen with everyone but I have experienced it so I can explain how to deal with it.
If when you talk to the race organizer and the title of the race is something other than the race you are entering (ie when I tried to enter the Firgrove race, it said ‘Moorland Pole Bending’), you will not be entered into the race even if you clicked yes on the dialogue box. If the count down bar does not show at the top of your screen, you are not entered in the race! If this happens to you, all hope is not lost. You will just have to wait until the 5 minute reminder (when the notification does NOT have the picture of a rosette in it) to enter.