Today, we’ll be looking at the world of horse racing. It’s a sport with lots of culture and history, and we Britons have developed a sort of deep likeness to it.
Not just likeness, we were instrumental to the development of the sport and as a return, it’s deep-rooted into Britain more than anywhere else in the world. We have over 700 (amateur and expert) jockeys in the country.
As its past is full of eminent tales and interesting stats, we have compiled a few fascinating facts about horse racing. The sport, however, also has some learning to it. Here are some intriguing facts you should know about horse racing:
1. The first race horses were bred for war
Some Thoroughbreds were imported to Britain around the 1600s, having been bred for war originally.
The 3 breeding horses (namely the Byerley Turk, Godolphin Arabian, and Darley Arabian) were known to be swift and strong. They mated with the local females to create the Thoroughbred lineage we see racing today.
2. The UK generates billions of pounds from it
Since the racing of horses was re-legalized after the Civil War, it has been contributing to the region’s annual income.
The industry generates close to £3.8 billion every year, adding graciously to the country’s economy—making remarkable horse racing events a national asset. Millions of viewers watch the Cheltenham Festival, Randox Health Grand National, and other British happenings from around the world.
- Many websites provide expert tipsters
Horse racing is so popular in the UK that many free horse racing tips websites now exist. These sites give UK punters access to the latest horse racing predictions and tips from leading tipsters such as Peter Scudamore. Sites like FreeBets also provide previews and guides of the next big horse racing events, while also giving you advice on which online bookmakers to use.
According to FreeBets.com, they claim to give readers a free horse racing tip every day. They also have tipsters that have decades of experience in the horse racing industry. Whenever events such as the Grand National or Cheltenham Festival come along, these sites are well worth checking out.
4. Horse racing wasn’t invented in the UK
Despite the sport’s widespread popularity throughout the country, people are often surprised to find out that it wasn’t invented here.
The more modern version of racing did originate in Britain around 200 AD, but the sport has been a thing since domestication of horses began. Its popularity knows no bounds with the sport popular around the world. In the US for example, they have the Kentucky Derby.
History has it that around 4500 BC, some wandering Central Asian tribesmen even raced horses.
5. More people watch in person than on TV
Contrary to its widespread vogue, most of the races that happen in the United Kingdom are attended by only a few people because it’s better to watch live than on TV.
The experience is different and we have events almost all year round—excluding December holidays anyway.
6. Flat racing offers the most money
As for Jump racing, most prizes are around £11k while Flat races are over £17k. Two of the biggest races are Newmarket’s QIPCO 1000 and 2000 Guineas Stakes, and the Investec Derby at Epsom Downs.
7. Race horses are excellent athletes
Thoroughbreds have heartbeats of 40 per minute, beating our own of 60-100 times per minute. Note that those are heartbeats at rest, which help an athlete recuperate after running for a while.
8. In popularity, horse racing comes after football
Of course, football is the most popular sport in the country. But horse racing is also quite popular, coming immediately after Britain’s favourite.
Every year, more than 6 million people visit all sorts of race tracks all over the country.
9. Often called the Sport of Kings
Horse racing has been widespread since the times of King James I (we’re talking as far back as the 1600s). He was so into racing that Parliament had to urge him to pay more attention to the country’s operations.
Newmarket, as we know it today, wouldn’t have been a thing if not for the original King James. It was designed to be a royal resort, but Charles II was the one who established its current authority as the best place to be for horse races.