Horse Racing: The Evolution and History

Horse racing came into life since 4500 B.C. when the Central Asia nomadic people developed this system. Indeed, the Olympics had been the witness of the incorporation of this sport since 638 B.C. During these times, horse races and chariot horse races were mounted. These sports have been adopted by the Romans and they got obsessed by these. For thousands of years, these were enjoyed and popularized by royalties and noble men.

Contemporary racing started when the first English and Arabian horse breeding was made. When the noble knights came back to their home land, this sparred the breeding and produced strong horses with amazing speed. This gave breeders the reason to maximize the possibility of races and place it on tracks. The most powerful breed that breeders came up with that time was the Thoroughbred, which is still popular nowadays in the UK.

Between 1660 and 1685, horse racing has been known during the reign of King Charles II. Racecourses have been produced by the English people during the 16th century. Ascot founder Queen Ann made horse racing the country’s official sport. In her time, match racing led to races that involved different horses on which the spectators wagered.

In the middle of the 1700’s, the English created the Jockey Club as horse racing elite figures initiated it. The Jockey Club drafted complete rules of races and sanctioned racecourses to meet under those rules. In fact, the family lines of racing breeds were traced back by James Weatherby, whose family worked as accountants to Jockey Club members. It was his studies that led to the popular of the General Stud Book to the general public. This authority when it comes to breeds that could be included to horse racing was based on this book. The book says, the breeds that are regarded as Thoroughbreds are those that came from the “foundations sires” line. This line includes the Darley Arabian, Godolphin Arabian and Byerley Turk.

Horse racing came in the United States in the 17th century at which the first racetrack was held in Long Island, New York. As Americans had found passion in horse racing during that time, the sport was formalized only after the Civil War. In 1890, the sport became a hit as it was already an obsession by many and was industrially developed through gambling. The country developed 314 tracks that were operated regularly. Horse racing had been the second mostly attended spectator sports in the United States after baseball.

As horse racing had not been held by a reliable organization to govern it, it was dominated by some criminal elements. Though, the American Jockey Club was organized by high-ranking stable owners in 1894. The system adopted by this club was the same as the system used in England’s Jockey Club. However, in the early 1900’s, U.S. horse racing was nearly eliminated by antigambling sentiment that nearly banned bookmaking in all states. It was in 1908 when the pari-metuel betting for Kentucky Derby was introduced and signified a turnaround for horse racing.

Horse racing today has been popularized by a lot of countries as well. Each country organized a governing body to regulate their horse racing activities.