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 be obsessed with the sport. The Greeks back then incorporated this game within the Olympics, which helped it gain natural popularity.
The origin of the game in United Kingdom though starts with the importation of Arabian stallions into England during and following the Crusades. The amalgamation of the stock from Middle East and the breeds in Europe resulted in the emergence of a swift runner with a steady build.
During the course of 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 private and public horse racing competitions held through their own initiatives.
Horse racing in Europe was marked later with the development of various racing arenas over the land. However, professional horse racing occurred while in the 16th century once 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, they have already accomplished various things pertaining to horse racing.
The Jockey Club of England was established because of 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 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, the official of the Jockey Club was the first person to distinguish the founding sires of the stallions that we now know as Thoroughbreds.
During the entire development of the game, different types were formed. These are called as the classics.
Among the most popular are St. Leger which was founded during 1776, the Oaks which was founded 3 years after, the next year produced the Derby, 2,000 Guineas in 1809 and 1000 Guineas which was created 5 years after.
All these, among other events, were created from the formation of the Jockey Club.
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 has 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 resulted in questioning its worth since ranges seem to have switched to more glamorous distances. The game existed for 227 years but was canceled during the Civil War.
This horse racing event rooted from a race that had been devised by Edward Smith Stanley who was 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 grown to be successful and the following year saw the second race of this type.
The name of the 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 merely a couple of the most famous English Classics. Central to all these is the fact that inspite of the presence of horse racing among other cultures, Europe continues to be credited for being the proponent for the 1st formal exhibition of horse racing.