Horse racing originated in the ancient world of the Greeks. And like many other events in history, this sport was passed on 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 origin of the game in United Kingdom though starts with the importation of Arabian stallions into England during and after the Crusades. The amalgamation from 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 easily 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 very 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 when 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 accordance 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 other words, they formalized the sport, as we know of today during 1750s. The Jockey Club has also been 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 people now know as Thoroughbreds.
During the entire development of the sport, different types were formed. They are known as the classics.
Among the most popular are St. Leger that was founded during 1776, the Oaks which 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.
Each one of these, among other events, were created through 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 was held 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 was 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 second race of its kind.
The actual race ended up being 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 despite 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.