Origins of Horse Racing

The history of horse racing goes back to very ancient times prior to it’s throttle in the United States of America and what it has evolved into in 2014. The Greeks, Babylonians, Egyptians, and Syrians all seem to have had horses that were trained for running – whether it was from the enemy or for the amusement or sport of the people.

Various kinds of horse racing has led to different kinds of horses as well. Breeds that may be great for flat racing on a level ground would be horses such as thoroughbreds and quarter horses, while harness racing requires breeds such as trotters and others. Steeplechase racing is a third form of racing that requires other than pure bred horses and is eagerly followed in Europe more so than the United States.

We can easily imagine that some ancient Roman soldiers placed bets against each other’s chariot horses, or some Arabs gambled on whose sleek steed was the fastest. Traditions begin this way what makes part of the Kentucky Derby 2014 so darn interesting for all Americans, not just horse betting enthusiasts. The thoroughbred racing tradition began as the “Sport of Kings” in Europe. First used for jousting tournaments, the early European horses had to endure being weighted down with the metals uniforms of the Knights as well as their own cumbersome coverings. Once the Crusades were over, three founding sires of the thoroughbred breed were mated with English racing mares – these produced the thoroughbreds as we know them today.

Origins Horse Racing

Thoroughbreds are measured in hand height – four inches to the hand. A typical thoroughbred can be as small as 15 hands or over 17 hands. These kind of horses are very fast for medium distances and are bred for speed and endurance. But each thoroughbred must trace their pedigree to one of the three founding sires: the Darley Arabian, the Godolphin, or the Byerly Turk. Each of the three horse types was named after his owner, Thomas Darley, Lord Godolphin, and Captain Robert Byerly. Captain Byerly was the first to capture a stallion from the Turks and brought it back to England. The last of the three was the Godolphin Arabian born in Yemen and given to the King of France as a gift. The second Earl of Godolphin came into possession of the horse and bred him in England. Amazingly, their progeny are alive and well…and running strong!

March 26, 2014 by : Posted in 2015, odds No Comments

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