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 obsessed with 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 Uk though begins with the importation of Arabian stallions into England during and after the Crusades. The combination of the stock from Middle East as well as 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 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 private and public horse racing competitions held through their very own initiatives.

Horse racing in Europe was marked later with the growth of various racing arenas throughout the land. However, professional horse racing occurred during the 16th century when 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 line with this, it has already accomplished various things pertaining to 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 rules and regulations. In short, they formalized the sport, as we know of today during 1750s. The Jockey Club has also been responsible for the early determination of breeding lines of the horses.

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

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

Among the most popular are St. Leger that was founded during 1776, the Oaks that was founded 3 years after, the next 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 through 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 occured on September 24, 1776. It offers 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 appear 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 had been the Earl of Derby during 1779. Along with his friends, they meant 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 2nd race of its kind.

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

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