The History Of Horse Racing
The sport of horse racing is ancient. Its origins can be dated back to about 4500 BC the nomadic tribesmen of Central Asia. These tribesmen first domesticated the horse. Ever since then, horse racing has thrived as the sport of kings.
Horse racing is one of the most broadly attended spectator sports in America. In 1989, over 50 million people were at 8 000 days of racing and wagered over $9 billion on the races. Horse racing is also an extremely popular sport in Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, the Middle East, South America as well as Australia.
In the United States, the very popular races are thoroughbred horses racing over flat courses between ¾ of a mile as well as 1 ¼ miles. Quarter horses are also popular as is harness racing.
Early History Of Horse Racing
Information of the first horse race is lost however, both four-hitch chariot and mounted (bareback) races took place in the Olympic Games of Greece over the period 700–40 BCE.
Horse racing, both of chariots as well as mounted riders, was a well-organized public entertainment in the Roman Empire. The history of organised horse racing in other ancient civilisations is not very firmly established. Presumably, organised racing started in countries such as China, Persia, Arabia, and other countries of the Middle East as well as in the northern countries of Africa, where horsemanship became highly developed early.
Then came the Arabian, Barb, and Turk horses which contributed to the very earliest European racing. Such horses became quite familiar to Europeans during the Crusades (11th–13th century CE). These horses were brought back from the Crusades.
The Beginning Of Racing In Medieval England
Racing in medieval England started when horses for sale were ridden in competition by professional riders in order to display the speed of the horses to buyers.
During the reign of Richard the Lionheart (which was over 1189 and 1199), the first known racing bounty was offered, £40, for a race that was run over a 3-mile (4.8-km) course with knights who were riders.
In the 16th century, long before entertainment sites in Australia went live, King Henry VIII imported horses from Italy and Spain (probably the Barbs) and set up studs at several locations. In the 17th century, James I was the sponsor meetings in England. His successor, Charles I, had a stud of 139 horses when he passed away in 1649.
Thoroughbred Racing In The United States Of America
British settlers brought horses (as well as horse racing) to the United States of America. In 1665, the first racetrack was laid out on Long Island. Even though the sport was a popular locally for some time, organised racing did not exist until after the Civil War in 1868. At this point, the American Stud Book was begun. For the next several decades, for the duration of the industrial expansion, gambling on racehorses, as well as horse racing itself, exploded. By 1890, there were 314 tracks which operated across the United States.