Horse racing originated in the ancient world of the Greeks. And like a number of other events in history, this sport was forwarded to Romans who have learned to become obsessive about the sport. The Greeks in those days incorporated this game in the Olympics, which helped it gain natural popularity.
The original source of the game in United Kingdom though begins with the importation of Arabian stallions into England during and after the Crusades. The amalgamation of the stock from Middle East as well as the breeds in Europe resulted in 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 obsessed with horse racing that both had public and private 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 during the 16th century once the great classics were established.
Before America had got its American Jockey Club, Europe had already established the very 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 you may know of today during 1750s. The Jockey Club was also responsible for early determination of breeding lines of the horses.
James Weatherby, the official from the Jockey Club was the first to distinguish the founding sires of the stallions that we now know as Thoroughbreds.
Throughout the development of the sport, various types were formed. These are known as the classics.
One of 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 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 very 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 seem to have switched to more glamorous distances. This 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. It was named after his estate, Oaks. The race has become successful and the following year saw the 2nd race of this type.
The name of the race was then founded after the Earl won in a game of 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.