The History of Horse Racing

Horse racing is a much-loved Ancient sport enjoyed by the rich and higher societies of the 21st century.  The unparalleled sport has Central Asian origins serving specifically from the nomads of that time who had managed to domesticate horses. Humans have always liked showing off that they are better than others and so with the combined domestication of horses came the sport of horse racing.

Fast forward a couple thousand years and we witness horse racing becoming a professional sport in the United Kingdom. In the 12th Century the Anglo knights returned from their global territorial conquests with horses of Arab descent. The captured horses were interbred with the already existing English horses to produce the thoroughbred breed of horse used in horse racing in the UK today. As mentioned above horse racing is a sport for the aristocrats of this world and this came as a direct result from the reign of King Charles II during part of the 16th century.  The King often demanded horse races to be conducted on his private courses or open fields with enticing prizes awarded to the winners. In the next few years Queen Anne resigned as the monarch and horse racing took on a new front. Now several horses would race against each other and spectators would place bets on the horse they think would win. From this period onwards, racecourses became widespread across the nation. Why wouldn’t they when the betting culture was rife during those ages. Ascot is a world-famous racecourse that was founded by Queen Anne in 1711. Ascot is the UK’s leading horse racing course and enjoys close associations with the British Royal Family. In the middle of the 18th century much of horse racing’s elite gathered at Newmarket in Suffolk. The Jockey Club was birthed right on these exact grounds. This club’s main priority was to oversee English horse racing and to create strict rules and sanctions for horse racing as a sport, this included laws regarding the breeding of race horses. The club traced the pedigree and family history of all race horses in England published the great and tremendous work resulted in a book called General Stud Book. The book was published in 1791. From the book published by the Jockey Club we can see that horse racing did indeed originate from the ancient Arab Asian regions as many of the British thoroughbred horses can be traced back to one of types of Arab horses, the Byerley Turk, the Darley Arabian and the Godolphin Arabian. The Jockey Club continued to regulate horse racing today, until the British Horseracing Board took over in 1993. Now we see that horse racing is an ancient sport that is still treasured for its beauty, uniqueness and splendor. It shows how human beings have the capability to control their environment and influence the change they seek to achieve. Domesticating an animal isn’t no easy feat, never mind controlling it. Horse racing is a testament to the complexity of the human mind.

The History of Horse Racing