Horse racing is currently the second largest spectator sport in the UK and the largest horse racing events in the country such as Royal Ascot is considered one of the most important social events of the year, in addition to being World-famous racing event.
This sport generates about £ 3.7 billion for the economy and major horse racing festivals are held on 10 of the 12 months of the year.
It has stood the test of time, dating back to the Middle Ages, and is still a huge part of today’s culture.
English horse racing in the middle ages
Horse racing in England may have originated in 200 BC in Yorkshire, north of the country, but they did not begin to use saddles until about 400 years later.
The sport had a slow start, paused due to a ban on the import of non-continental horses, but in 1174, William Fitzstephen recorded the first horse race to meet at St Bartholomew’s horse fair in London. .
Over the next 300 years, during the reign of King Henry VII, this sport developed.
During this time, Henry VII passed a number of laws regarding horse breeding and record keeping of the sport became more important.
The first record for a trophy was given in 1512 in Chester, and the trophy included a wooden bat covered with flowers. The oldest horse race, Kiplingcotes Derby, was held in 1519.
Similar to the history of horse racing in the United States, interest in this sport has peaks and valleys. In the 17th century, during Queen Elizabeth’s reign, interest weakened.
But that changed in 1605, after James I discovered Newmarket, which was dubbed the home of British horse racing. In 1622, the first Newmarket race took place. The bet was £ 100, and it was among the horses owned by the nobility. The first Gold Cup event was held at Newmarket in 1634 and the season expanded into spring and autumn.