british horse racing sport

The sport that I will review is British Horse Racing, and seeing how it has developed over the years.

Early British Horse Racing – Horse racing in Britain started off during romans times during the middle ages. Horse racing, which was then known during the time as ‘horse running,’ it was a sport which the Kings of England took part, (hence why it is now known as the ‘sport of kings’. It was during the reign of Henry II in 1174, that the first race meeting was recorded at a horse fair in Smithfield London. It was in the C16th that race meetings became more formal. It was in 1512 that the first trophy was given to the winner of a race, a small wooden ball decorated with flowers.

Newmarket was found in the early C17th century by James I, and due to him racing horses here, Newmarket turned into the home of racing, and it was in the C17th century that race meetings where popping up all over the country, and it was during this time that the weights that the horses had to carry and the weights of the jockeys during races was put into place to make races fair. Most races up to this time where match races (only two horses), of which they raced over much longer distances than what they do on the flat now.

As the sport grew, Parliament introduced an act “to restrain and to prevent the excessive increase in horse racing” in 1740, however it got ignored until the rules of racing where introduced by the Jockey Club which was established in 1750.

20th Century – The British Horse Racing Board, which is formed in 1993, took over as the governing body from the Jockey Club, despite still regulating the sport. The BHB worked on strategic planning, finance, politics, race planning, training and marketing.

Despite World War 1 and 2, Horse racing continued, although on a very limited scale. However it was after the 2nd world war that it began to grow and improve through new technical innovations, and the introduction of a handicapping system. It was in 1947…

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