The Ever Popular Sport - Horse Racing the Sport of Kings

Posted by cyntay on September 24th, 2010

When one looks at the origins of horse racing, one can find it recorded far back in history; some early picture records dated around 4500 B.C. are of prehistoric tribesmen of Middle Asia, these nomadic tribes domesticated the horse.


Written records at a later date show that horse racing was already established as a sport in Mediterranean and Central Asia, there is recorded history of Greek horse racing as early as 638 B.C. Not forgetting the horse was much favored in Roman times, and used extensively not only as means to draw a chariot, but racing was a common sport among the early Romans. 


Ancient Egyptians in 1500 B.C. practiced horse racing and it was a common sport to gamble on.   The costs of breeding and racing horses was out of the reach of ordinary man, but the nobles were rich enough to be able to engage in the sport, hence why it was called the sport of kings.


Knights of Britain's Empire imported the Arabic Horses on their many crusades; bring the excellence of sport horses to the British Isles.  The English mares were cross bred with the Arabian stallions, this combination gave a desirable combination of endurance and speed.   This breed eventually became known as thoroughbreds and was used for racing for wagers. And is still a popular breed for today's racing horses.


During the Reign of, Eighteenth Century, Queen Anne, the horse racing profession became more professional in many aspects. The one-on-one races were replaced by events that featured several horses competing against each other.  The race tracks also offered prize money or purses to the winners. As time went by the purses grew larger which attracted the best horses, and more people to bet on the horses.


In mid 1700's a governing body was set up to monitor, and determine rules, standards and guidelines that breeders, racers and owners must follow, this was named the Jockey Club and was established in Newmarket. The governing body is still to day the guide by which all British racing abides by.


The Jockey Club then established 5 'classic' races; these were established for three year olds.   Colts and fillies can compete in The English Tipple Crown, the Epsom Derby, plus the St Leger Stakes.  The other two races are only open to fillies they are the Epsom Oaks and the 1000 Guineas.

Horse racing was later established all over the British Empire as well as America. Today it is one of the most popular sports, and followed by millions who enjoy placing a bet on the horses

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