Horse Racing – A Brief History of Modern Horse Racing

ust about everyone knows about modern horse racing. It has become an ingrained part of many modern cultures and with good reason. It’s is an exciting sport and one of the best ways to gamble money. Few sports and gambling sites can match the thrill and suspense of horse racing.

Horse racing is a tradition rich sport that has been practiced in various forms for thousands of years. It involves several sets of horses and riders racing against each other to cross the finish line first, thus winning the race. Obviously then, the bond between person and horse is essential. No one is quite sure when people started to ride horses but the earliest evidence we have found for the first domesticated horses comes from Ukraine at around 4000 to 3500 BCE. Others suggest that people started riding horses circa 3000 to 3500 BCE in what is now modern day Kazakhstan.

Horse racing itself would find its roots in many famous ancient cultures, including Persia, Greece, Egypt, and Babylon. Many of these early horse races featured a chariot pulled behind the horse, which is still preserved in some modern horse races. These early dato carrera americana races often featured death and serious injury which helped draw massive crowds.

When most people think of horse racing they think of “flat” racing. Flat racing refers to the typical race on a flat dirt, lawn, or synthetic surface, usually on an oval race track. Jockeys ride the horse and help guide it to the finish line. The earliest known flat race occurred on a four mile track in 1174 AD and horse races quickly became popular at fairs and festivals across the United Kingdom and Europe.

Thorough breed horses refer to a specific breed of horses that are descendant from three stallions imported from the “orient” to breed with English mares. These three stallions were Turkish, Barb, and Arabian descent and were strong, fast horses. These three stallions bred from circa 1680 to 1740 and by the end of the 18th century were among the most dominant breeds in the world. The thoroughbred breed of horses quickly became one of the most popular horse breeds in England and Europe and as a result people began racing their thoroughbred horses against one another.

This would lead to the establishment of the “English Classic” races. In 1776 the Epsom Oaks race would be established to test 3 year old fillies against one another. The Epsom Derby would be founded only three years later. Next the 2000 Guineas was founded in 1809 and in 1814 the 1000 Guineas was founded. These races were also restricted to fillies but later races would expand to include other thoroughbred horses.

The thoroughbred breed would quickly spread to the Americas and across the world. And as the breed spread so to did the thoroughbred style of flat racing. The first thoroughbred was brought to Virginia in 1730 and soon breeding centers popped up in Maryland, Virginia, and elsewhere throughout the colonies. After independence from Britain, as America expanded westward thoroughbred horses and horse racing followed along the frontiers. In 1875 arguable America’s most prestigious race track, the Churchill Downs, was established in Kentucky. And by the early 20th century horse racing was firmly entrenched in American culture with race tracks found from coast to coast.

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