It is known that horse racing was common in ancient Greece and India. The earliest references to these tests date back to 1000 BC. Competitions in chariots drawn by fours were the basis of the ancient Greek Olympic Games. In ancient times, horse racing was a great success and held a special place in the life of society. Winners of equestrian competitions received fame and recognition worthy of true heroes. Even more popular racing became thanks to the participation in it of the great emperors – Nero, Caligula and Domitian. With the fall of the Roman Empire, the popularity of horse racing declined, although there were still competitions in Europe. In the Middle Ages in Europe a variety of equestrian tests were also carried out, which were successful among the population. A new round in the development of horse racing began in the XVII century. Then in England a special breed of horses was bred, possessing the best abilities for horse racing.
At the beginning of the XIX century was created high-speed thoroughbred breed. The appearance of such horses contributed to the reduction of race distances. The previous running distances of 6.5-9.5 km were reduced to 5 km or less. So the horses had the opportunity to maximize their speed. In the 18th century, major hippodromes were opened in such cities of Great Britain as Epsom, Ascot, Newmarket and Doncaster. Later, hippodromes began to appear in France. Longchamp became the most famous French hippodrome, where horse racing is held today. Horse racing has been regulated by the National Rules and Regulations since the 18th century in England. Here was organized the first jockey club which has the authority to control the conduct of equestrian competitions. It was the British who first began to record horse racing records and record the nicknames of horses.
At the turn of the XVIII and XIX centuries, horse racing acquired the status of a prestigious occupation. To become a competitor, the horse owner himself could sit in the saddle, or put in his place an acquaintance or a stable employee. In those days, the color of the winner’s stable was recorded in a special book. This tradition is still followed during the races of thoroughbred riding breeds. On other races colors are recorded that belong to the jockeys, and not to the stables. In Germany, horse racing has spread only in the XIX century. At the beginning of the 20th century, the first German hippodrome was built in the city of Mecklenburg, where horses were brought from Britain. In America, horses appeared in the 15th century thanks to the Spanish conquistadors. In America, the Mustang breed was bred – unique horses that appeared from the crossing of American breeds with Arabian horses.
Great interest in horse racing has always been observed in high society. Kings, dukes, courtiers and other noble people had the opportunity to maintain their own stables. Often they themselves participated in competitions. The mass development of horse racing was obtained in the 17th-19th centuries, which is associated with an improved selection due to the industrial revolution. More perfect breeds of horses appear, and people have more money and free time – the European middle class begins to emerge. At the same time, many hippodromes are opened, on which (first illegally) sweepstakes appear. The possibility of winning repeatedly spurred interest in horse racing. In many countries, restrictions were imposed on sweepstakes, up to a total ban. Perhaps this was one of the reasons for the decline of love for horse racing. But the main thing in which they were inferior to the newly emerging sports, so it is in entertainment. Jumping, triathlon, dressage and other modern types of equestrian sports are clearly superior to monotonous jumps, which are now referred to as standard tests of the horse for speed and endurance.
What are the races: horse racing tips before you start
There are certain differences between horse breeds. They determine the type of races in which they will be used. There are some types: smooth; still chase; endurance race.
- Hurdling. In horse racing, horses must overcome various obstacles – water or sand breaks, hedges. The most widespread stipple-chase is in Ireland (the place of origin of this sport), the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Canada and Australia. The races are held at a distance of 4-7 km, up to 30 obstacles of varying difficulty can occur on the track. Racing through barriers originates from sport hunting. Aristocrats enjoyed popular horseback hunting for foxes, hares and wolves in the open country, but with natural low-growing vegetation common on the island. The most famous obstacle race has been held in Liverpool since 1836; its prize pool exceeds £ 1 million.
- Gambling racing. Probably, horse racing was the first sport that brought wealth not only to participants, but also to spectators. It is known that in the first millennium BC, horse races with bets on the winner were organized on the Arabian Peninsula. But the development of totalizator system is already at the present time. In a number of countries, races with a tote are under full or partial prohibition. So in some US states, a law was passed to ban the sweepstakes in 1951. But in many states, stakes are not easily resolved, but they are also a significant proportion of the local budget. So the Hong Kong hippodrome brings in more than 25% of tax revenues to the treasury of the city. And the total global tax collection exceeds $ 100 billion annually. At the same time, a significant part of totalizator incomes remains in the shadow sector of the economy.
Dangerous sport: horse racing fixtures
Since high speed develops in races, this often leads to bad consequences. So the research conducted by the Center for Medicine at the University of North Carolina, reported that over 60% of jockeys have injuries and health problems. Moreover, 20% have serious complications in the form of head and neck injuries. We also managed to find out that for every 2000 starts there are 3 horses killed. In 2006, in New York alone, 600 horses were killed in competition. And the number of non-lethal cases and not entailing culling the animal even more. This circumstance as well as the opinion of a number of human rights organizations on cruelty at the races led to a serious campaign against this type of equestrian competitions. In particular, the use of the whip, fishing, and other traditional methods of controlling a horse is criticized. Some players, by the way, put exclusively on the first few numbers in the handicap. And this strategy works fine. But the horses from the last lines do not win so often. Handicaps are divided into six classes. The first class (Class 1) is the highest; these are the highest quality horses. The sixth grade (Class 6) is the lowest. A horse can start with low handicap classes and gradually climb up.
- Class 1 is the cream of the British races. These are the very jumps that the whole country watches and discusses, on which the greatest bets are made. What is interesting, inside Class 1 also has its own “ladder”. The first class is divided into Listed, Group 3, Group 2 and Group 1 races.
- Listed level rides are a transitional stage from simple handicaps to the prestigious Group 1, 2 and 3 races. It is honorable for any horse to speak in such a jump – it says a lot about his talents. And if you win in Listed, you will break into the Group level races and win hundreds of thousands of pounds.
In barrier jumps, the picture is similar. As in the smooth series, here, too, most of the races are handicaps, and they are divided into six classes. There are also maiden and listed jumps here. Well, for the highest level races in barrier races, instead of the word “Group”, “Grade” is used. The highest level of British barrier races is Grade 1.