History of Horse Racing in Great Britian

Horseracing, the Sport of Kings
Horse Racing Tips UK IRELANDHorse racing, also known as the 'Sport of Kings' first became recognised as a professional sport here in the UK in the 12th century, when English knights returned from the Crusades with Arab horses.

This is the breed of horse is known as the 'thoroughbread' and this is the breed used in racing today. Thoroughbreds originate from the Arabian breed, and all thoroughbreds can be traced back to three original sires (fathers): The Byerley Turk, The Darley Arabian, and The Godolphin Arabian. The first recongnised home of organised horseracing in Britain was Newmarket, which was built by King James I. Thus the origin of the nickname the 'Sport of Kings'. During the reigns of Charles I and Charles II, horseracing grew in popularity.

Most races were in ran between two horses with the winner's prize often being a 'Silver Bell'. Horse racing began to evolve during the reign of Queen Anne, and soon started to involve several horses running in races. The masses were now allowed by law to place horse racing bets. Racecourses began to open throughout Britain. In this period Queen Anne founded Ascot in the year 1711. The Jockey Club was founded by the racing elite in 1750.

The rules of horse racing, and horserace meetings code of conduct were soon swiftly written. The Jockey Club would now control horse racing in England, and the sport became the first to be regulated on English soil. 'Classic' races were born in the 18th century. Classics were seen as the ultimate tests for racehorses. There were fives races in all, for three-year-old horses. These races are still run today, with the St Ledger, founded around 1776 being the oldest.

The most famous of the five, recognised world-wide is known as the Derby. In the 19th century horseracing became the most popular sport in England, with millions of people spectating. This was brought on by the increase of newspaper coverage around that time. Betting on horses soon became more widespread, and the Jockey Club began to enforce their code of conduct on the on course bookmakers, ensuring the sport continued to grow.

In 1947 technology brought along the 'Photo Finish' as horseracing as an industry continued to prosper. Betting outside of the racecourse became legal in 1961, and high street betting shops soon began to open, backing horses soon became even more popular due to the ease and accessibility of this new convenience.

Televison in the 1950's and 1960's gave the horseracing fan even more access to the sport, this led to horse racing becoming even more attractive for the betting spectator. Later, wiith the introduction of the internet, it wasn't long before the creation of the 'Online Bookmaker.' Placing a bet has never been easier with a whopping 60 UK racecourses packed with racing fixtures. It is said that the Epsom Derby's turnover alone can now reach nearly 50 million pounds.

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