Horse racing originated in the ancient world of the Greeks. And like many other events in history, this sport was forwarded to Romans that have learned to become obsessed with the sport. The Greeks back then 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 led to the emergence of a swift runner with a steady build.
During the course of Europe’s horse racing history, we can observe that the sport was dedicated primarily to the noble and royal families alone. The commoners served as the spectators.
In fact, 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 very own initiatives.
Horse racing in Europe was marked later with the development 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 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 early determination of breeding lines of the horses.
James Weatherby, the official from 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 sport, different types were formed. They are called as the classics.
Among the most popular are St. Leger that was founded during 1776, the Oaks which was founded three years after, the next year produced the Derby, 2,000 Guineas in 1809 and 1000 Guineas which was created five years after.
Each one of these, among other events, were created through 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 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. This game existed for 227 years but was canceled in the Civil War.
This horse racing event rooted from the race that had been devised by Edward Smith Stanley who had been the Earl of Derby during 1779. Along 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 this type.
The actual race was then founded after the Earl won in a bet on flipped coin with his friend Sir Charles Bunbury, then was an excellent racing figure.
These are just two of the most famous English Classics. Central to all these is 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.