Horse racing originated in the ancient world of the Greeks. And like a number of other events in history, this sport was passed on to Romans who have learned to become obsessed with the sport. The Greeks in those days incorporated this game within the Olympics, which helped it gain natural popularity.
The origin of the game in United Kingdom though begins with the importation of Arabian stallions into England during and after the Crusades. The combination from 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 notice that the sport was dedicated primarily towards 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 enthusiastic about horse racing that both had public and private 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 while in the 16th century when the great classics were established.
Even 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 regulations and rules. In short, they formalized the sport, as you may know in the present day during 1750s. The Jockey Club was also responsible for the early determination of breeding lines of the horses.
James Weatherby, an official from the Jockey Club was the first person to distinguish the founding sires of the stallions that we now know as Thoroughbreds.
Throughout the development of the game, different types were formed. They 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.
All these, among other events, were created from the formation of the Jockey Club.
St. Leger was founded by a former Irish soldier Lieutenant Colonel Anthony St Leger. The very first event under this category was held on September 24, 1776. It offers the longest distance among the list of 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 in the Civil War.
This horse racing event rooted from the race that was devised by Edward Smith Stanley who was the Earl of Derby during 1779. 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 its kind.
The actual race was then 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 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 is still credited for being the proponent for the 1st formal exhibition of horse racing.