History of Horse Racing in UK

Horse racing originated in the ancient world of the Greeks. And like many other events in history, this sport was forwarded to Romans who have learned to become obsessive about the sport. The Greeks back then incorporated this game within the Olympics, which helped it gain natural popularity.

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

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

The fact is, Charles II and Queen Anne were known to have been obsessed with 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 growth of various racing arenas over the land. However, professional horse racing occurred during the 16th century once the great classics were established.

Even before America had got its American Jockey Club, Europe had already established the very 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 due to the movement initiated by the elite of horse racing. This then became the overseer of racetracks, races, standards for horse breeds, and event regulations and rules. 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, an official from the Jockey Club was the first to distinguish the founding sires of the stallions that people now know as Thoroughbreds.

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

Among 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 that was created five years after.

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

St. Leger
St. Leger was founded by the former Irish soldier Lieutenant Colonel Anthony St Leger. The first event under this category was held on September 24, 1776. It has the longest distance among the 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. This 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 become successful and the following year saw the second race of this type.

The actual race ended up being founded once the Earl won in a game of flipped coin with his friend Sir Charles Bunbury, then was an outstanding racing figure.

These are just a couple of the most famous English Classics. Central to all these is that inspite of 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.