Categorized | About Horse Racing

Going Back in the History of Horse Racing

The beginning of horse racing can be traced back to the times when horses were first domesticated. There has been historical evidences which reveal that a certain system used for the game had already been in use by the people in Central Asia as early as 4500 BC. It is even known that the game had been included in the Olympics since 638 BC by the Greeks.

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During these ages, mounted as well as chariot horse racing were both very popular. When the Romans later adopted the sport, it became an obsession. Thousands of years passed and the game was said to be performed only for royalties and for the noble men.


The 12th century is known to be the beginning of modern horse racing when Arabian horses were bred with English horses. This started when the noble knights came back from the crusades to their homeland. Breeding these types produced horses with really excellent speed and sturdy built which were later put into tracks in order for the breeders to maximize their potential as racehorses. This breed, which we know of today as the Thoroughbred, is still the United Kingdom’s most popular breed.

Between 1660 and 1685, King Charles II was also known to have horse races in his private courses. Also, some race courses were produced during the 16th century. It has been known that Queen Anne who was the founder of the ascot in 1711 also made horse racing an official sport.

Elite personalities who were into horse racing initiated the creation of the Jockey Club during the mid-1700s. Comprehensive rules and regulations, as well as standards of the game, were established by this first legion of jockeys. Because of this, the organization had since become overseers of the sport and they also sanctioned horse races.

The Jockey Club was also the initiator and was responsible for the regulation of horse breeding. The family lines of racing breeds were traced back by the Jockey Club accountant, James Weatherby, through the General Stud Book publication, which was the basis of the breeds of horses that could be used for horse racing and was brought about by his research efforts. According to this book, the Thoroughbreds were the pedigrees that descended from the “foundation sires” which included the Godolphin Arabian, Darley Arabian, and Byerley Turk.

This sport arrived in America only in the 17th century and the very first track was constructed in Long Island. It became one of the people’s favorite pasttimes, although it wasn’t really formalized until after the Civil War. By the year 1890, the sport grew large that about 314 race tracks were operating in the country. This was because of industrial development, along with widespread gambling in the sport, not to mention the already existing obsession over the sport.

Although this sport was widespread over the country, there was no specific governing body that regulated it which is why it became purely dominated by what were more like criminal elements. However, in 1894 the American Jockey Club was finally formed and organized by the country’s high-ranking and most prominent stable owners and it was patterned on the same system used by the Jockey Club in England.

Until now, horse racing is one of the most popular sports all over the world and events are regulated by certain governing bodies.

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