The organized horse race in the United Kingdom took place during the reign of King Charles II in the 17th century, but horse races took place long before that.
The earliest horse races in the United Kingdom have been held in Yorkshire around 200 AD, arranged by soldiers of the Roman Empire. After that, there was reason to believe that many horse rides were held afterward. Specific evidence of a horse race is in 1174 at a horse fair in London.
In the early 17th century, James I – a king of Scotland, he struck an essential role in the introduction of horse racing. Also, at the end of the 17th century, horse races were more often organized but were banned entirely afterward. Only a few years later, Charles II came to the throne and horse racing was revived and began to flourish. The import of stallions from abroad to crossbreed indigenous horses led to the creation of thoroughbred horses, and this day, the breed is the best.
Horse racing continued to increase in popularity in the following years. The government does not want this kind of development to be so restrictive. However, this did not have much effect, and a few years later, it became the first sport to be officially regulated in the United Kingdom. In 1752, the J Racer Club was founded to introduce the first official racing rules. By the end of the century, many horse races have been held, such as St Leger Stakes and Epsom Derby.
The next century saw horse racing establishing a top sport with a considerable following. The audience is growing, and this sport has been reported in all major newspapers. Perhaps more significantly, horse racing betting is on the rise, and professional bookmakers have come to the scene.
It was the popularity of horse racing that was the only sport to continue through both world wars in the 20th century. However, the number of races held was much lower during these periods. During the 1960s, two significant developments would affect horse racing in the United Kingdom forever. First, television became a popular home appliance, and the sport was regularly broadcast. Secondly, off-course betting has been legalized, and betting shops have begun to open across the country, making it a lot easier to place bets. Today, although there are many exciting sports, horse racing betting is a fairly popular pastime.