Horse Racing: A Glimpse Into History
Horses have fascinated people for eons, and horse racing has been around ever since humans domesticated these magnificent beasts. In today’s world, horse racing is a major equestrian sport that is exciting, stylish, elegant, opulent, and thrilling. It is a wholesome package that showcases the prowess of both man and the animal.
The origins of horse racing can be traced back to Central Asia. But today, it is the USA that spearheads the list of nations that support this sport. Horse racing also has deep-running roots in the history of the UK. Beyond these two major countries, the sport has dedicated fan clubs and organizations in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and Asia.
In this article, we give you a glimpse into how horse racing has influenced major countries.
American Horse Racing
Horse racing in the USA dates back to the 17th century when the first races were held in New York. Today, the Triple Crown title, which comprises the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes and the Preakness Stakes is the most prestigious in US horse racing. The US Jockey Club governs horse racing events in America, but every state enjoys its own licensing rules and regulations.
Take a look at some of the exciting facts of US horse racing:
- Thoroughbred Flat Horse Racing is the most popular category in the USA.
- Flat racing is done on dirt, turf, or synthetic tracks that have a distance of 1.5 miles.
- Pari-mutuel betting is the most popular way of betting in the US. In pari-mutuel betting, all the money is pooled and the organization takes a percentage, which is called the takeout. The remaining money is divided by the bettors, and this amount may vary as more wagers pitch in.
Horse Racing In The UK
Horse racing became a major sport in the UK after the 17th century under the auspices of King Charles II. Governed by the British Horseracing Authority, the UK hosts the two most prestigious racing events in the world – the Grand National and the Royal Ascot. Carrying combined prize money of 6.5 million Euros, these events are major crowd pullers of flat race enthusiasts.
The Coolmore Stud in Ireland is the biggest stud farm in the world, making the country a top destination for horse lovers. Horse betting in the UK is done through bookmakers, stores, and through online portals.
Horse Racing Down Under
Australian horse racing fans ought to thank the British for importing horses into the continent. The very first horse race event kicked off in Sydney’s Hyde Park in 1810 and established itself as a popular sport.
Today, horse racing events are a major part of Australia’s sports culture, and horse breeding is a major occupation that churns out thoroughbred horses for flat races. There are several ways to get involved with horse betting in Australia:
- Pari-mutuel betting.
- Licensed bookmakers
- Totalizer agency boards or TABs
The Melbourne Cup Carnival is the most awaited event of the year in Australia. It is a highly publicized event that is known as the “race that stops the nation.” The Australian Racing Board oversees other major events such as the Golden Slipper Stakes and the Sydney Cup.
Horse Racing In New Zealand
Horse racing in New Zealand came into existence in the mid 19th century when the first event was held in Epsom in 1841. The industry is governed by the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Incorporated, which organizes the Group1 Auckland Cup, New Zealand Cup, and Karaka Million.
Betting was not encouraged in New Zealand. But today, pari-mutuel betting is legalized by the government and controlled by the Totalisator Agency Boards.
In most countries, horse racing is controlled by a regulatory board. Betting is illegal in some countries, but nations that allow betting have an established system to curb discrepancies. The equestrian sport is slowly gaining popularity in many other countries like France and the UAE.