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 back then incorporated this game within the Olympics, which helped it gain natural popularity.
The original source 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.
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 private and public horse racing competitions held through their very own initiatives.
Horse racing in Europe was marked later with the growth of various racing arenas throughout the land. However, professional horse racing occurred during the 16th century once 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 accordance 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 regulations and rules. In other words, they formalized the sport, as you may know in the present day during 1750s. The Jockey Club has also been the cause of 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 people now know as Thoroughbreds.
During the entire development of the sport, various types were formed. They are called 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 following year produced the Derby, 2,000 Guineas in 1809 and 1000 Guineas that 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 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 appear 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 the race that had been devised by Edward Smith Stanley who had been the Earl of Derby during 1779. 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 become successful and the following year saw the 2nd race of this type.
The actual 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 two of the most famous English Classics. Central to all these is that inspite of the presence of horse racing among other cultures, Europe is still credited for being the proponent for the 1st formal exhibition of horse racing.