History of Horse Racing in UK

Horse racing originated in the ancient world of the Greeks. And like a number of other events in history, this sport was passed on to Romans that have learned to be obsessive about the sport. The Greeks in those days incorporated this game within the Olympics, which helped it gain natural popularity.

The original source of the game in United Kingdom though starts with the importation of Arabian stallions into England during and after the Crusades. The amalgamation from the stock from Middle East and the breeds in Europe led to the emergence of a swift runner with a steady build.

Throughout Europe’s horse racing history, we can easily observe that the sport was dedicated primarily towards the noble and royal families alone. The commoners served as the spectators.

In fact, Charles II and Queen Anne were known to have been enthusiastic about horse racing that both had public and private horse racing competitions held through their own initiatives.

Horse racing in Europe was marked later with the development of various racing arenas throughout the land. However, professional horse racing occurred while in the 16th century once the great classics were established.

Before America had got its American Jockey Club, Europe had already established the first governing body for horse racing. In accordance with this, it has already accomplished various things associated with horse racing.

The Jockey Club of England was established because of the movement initiated by the elite of horse racing. This then became the overseer of racetracks, races, standards for horse breeds, and event rules and regulations. In other words, they formalized the sport, as we know in the present day during 1750s. The Jockey Club has also been the cause of the early determination of breeding lines of the horses.

James Weatherby, the official from the Jockey Club was the first person to distinguish the founding sires of the stallions that we now know as Thoroughbreds.

During the entire progression of the sport, various types were formed. These are known as the classics.

One of the most popular are St. Leger which was founded during 1776, the Oaks that was founded 3 years after, the following year produced the Derby, 2,000 Guineas in 1809 and 1000 Guineas which was created five years after.

Each one of these, among other events, were created through the formation of the Jockey Club.

St. Leger
St. Leger was founded by a former Irish soldier Lieutenant Colonel Anthony St Leger. The very first event under this category occured on September 24, 1776. It has the longest distance among the list of English Classics, which ran over 132 yards, 1m and 6f.

On our present sense, this range was relatively short which led to questioning its worth since ranges seem to have switched to more glamorous distances. The game existed for 227 years but was canceled during the Civil War.

The Derby
This horse racing event rooted from a race that had been devised by Edward Smith Stanley who was the Earl of Derby during 1779. Along with his friends, they intended to race only among themselves over 1 1/2 miles. This was named after his estate, Oaks. The race has grown to be successful and the following year saw the second race of its kind.

The actual race was then founded once the Earl won in a bet on flipped coin with his friend Sir Charles Bunbury, then was an excellent racing figure.

These are merely a couple of the most famous English Classics. Central to all these is that despite the presence of horse racing among other cultures, Europe continues to be credited for being the proponent for the 1st formal exhibition of horse racing.