The Tradition Of Horse Racing In Britain – Anglotopia.net

October 3, 2019 - Comment

Horse racing in Britain is the second-largest spectator sport. It is only exceeded by football, and this number of punters that go to the tracks to watch their equine heroes is only expected to grow in the next couple of years. With most enthusiasts looking at the Breeders Cup results, happening in November in the


Horse racing in Britain is the second-largest spectator sport. It is only exceeded by football, and this number of punters that go to the tracks to watch their equine heroes is only expected to grow in the next couple of years. With most enthusiasts looking at the Breeders Cup results, happening in November in the USA, it is worth remembering that the horse racing tradition was brought by America with English colonization.

The number of people that have attended a race meeting in England is staggering. While most people have already attended the yearly festivals at Cheltenham, Aintree or Ascot.

The roots of the popularity can be traced back to Roman times, and this is where many of the rules and regulations that are still followed to this day stem back from. But over the years there have been successes on the track that have transcended popular culture and made mainstream news headlines. The biggest race of the lot- the Grand National, has a lot to do with this, and heroes such as Red Rum and Tiger Roll will be forever remembered by those that watched the respective races.

Early History

It is widely believed that the first races to take place in the United Kingdom came around 200 AD. These races were organised by Carl in Yorkshire and continued during the Roman era as they watched Arabian horses race after being brought to England by Septimus Severus. It is believed that the jockeys began to saddle horses as we see today around the year of 631, and this is something that has remained consistent throughout time.


The first recorded race involving horses came from a record made by the French House of Capet after they had gifted a racehorse to King Athelstan. During this time, there was a ban on the exporting of British racehorses, while imported horses were still legal. The royal involvement in racing has been something that has allowed the sport to thrive throughout history and is something that ensures that it continues to thrive to this day.

Henry II was the monarch when the first race meetings took place, and this continued throughout the reigns of Richard I, Edward III and Henry VII. It could be argued that the latter of those monarchs was a visionary when it came to racing, and he ensured that the horses could be bred and he also imported stallions. During this era, the number of meetings taking place throughout the year rose, and that led to the opening of the courses at Chester and Doncaster.

In 1605, James I discovered the village of Newmarket and began visiting the location throughout his reign to ride. This later ensured Newmarket racecourse was crowned as the home of British racing; something that is remains to this day.

Steeple-chasing was discovered later in history in 1830, and this quickly became a treasured sporting interesting in the county. Soon after that, the Grand National was born through the mind of William Lynn. The British Horseracing Boards had been in control of the sport since its introduction in 1993, before later forming with the Jockey Club to form the British Horseracing Authority in 2007.

Future

With over 60 licensed racecourses around the country, the famous pastime lives on. The younger audience is what will enable the sport to thrive, and with the vast number of online sportsbooks nowadays, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that the industry is as lucrative as ever. The biggest festivals are some of the most attended events on the sporting calendar, and no other country can have as much pride in their racehorses than the UK. The leading horses in flat and jumps have gone on to achieve success around the world, and the quality of training ensures that the sport is the safest it has ever been.

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