The history of horse racing dates back to 4500 BC when Nomadic clans indulged in horse racing for fun. Since then, it has evolved into becoming one of the most prominent sports in many parts of the world such as Australia, America, Britain, and so on. However, Britain earns special mention here because the sport was modified and made popular by the British.
There are many interesting facts to know about this prestigious sport steeped in rich heritage and history.
Let us find out the top 10 most interesting facts about horse racing.
1. This one of Britain’s favorite sport was banned for a few years. The post-Civil-War period was tough when the maximum number of horses were required by the State for different purposes. This happened during the reign of Oliver Cromwell between 1653 and 1658.
2. Racehorses were originally reared for war. The Darley Arabian, Byerley Turk, and Godolphin Arabian were considered to be the swiftest and strong horses. They were brought in England during the 17th and 18th centuries. To increase their population for war, those were indulged to mate with the local mares, and then the Thoroughbred lineage was created which is found even today.
3. Being a Jockey is not as easy as it seems. The selection procedure is pretty tough and you will be amazed to know that in the whole of the UK there are only 450 professional licensed jockeys. However, there are 300 amateur riders as well.
4. The Death rate on the racetrack is pretty high in Australia – Approximately one horse dies on the race track while racing in every three days. The death toll on the race tracks rose to 137 between July 2016 and July 2017.
5. The first horseback tournament was conducted back in 200AD on British land.
6. The net worth of California Chrome is astounding. $14,502,650 is his total earning and he is considered to be the richest horse in the history of American horse racing.
7. A considerable part of the UK’s economy depends on horse racing and the UK is the world topper in this regard. Horse races generate over £3.7 billion in revenue and contribute to the country’s economy hugely. Prestigious events like The Randox Health Grand National and the Cheltenham Festival are conducted in the UK. Millions of people worldwide are crazy fans of this sport.
8. Today Newmarket is the British racing headquarters but it wasn’t so during the reign of King James First, he was so enthralled by the sport that he didn’t pay enough attention to run the country. Newmarket was declared to be the royal resort during his time and it was only during his son, King Charles Second’s time that things changed.
9. Nearly 2000 racehorses are bred every year that never get to enter the race, moreover, around 8500 horses retire from racing hence there is naturally an excess of racehorses. This is the reason why these extra horses are labeled as “wastage” and ultimately they are slaughtered.
10. Australian racehorses are prone to bone injury and too much fatigue.