Horse racing is one of the oldest sports known to mankind. Horses were first domesticated around 4500 BC by tribes located in Central Asia. It began as a sport practiced by the elite members of society, including Kings and nobility. It has since grown to be a sport practiced by societies worldwide where horse betting is the name of the game.
There is a variety in types of racing including; Harness racing, Steeplechase racing, Quarter horse racing, and Thoroughbred racing. Of those Thoroughbred is the most common, in which the horses are mounted and raced on flat tracks ranging from three quarters of a mile to two miles.
It is a game of tactics, planning and skill to be able to bet well on the races. If you like similar betting games, such as Bingo or Black Jack, you might well enjoy betting on the horses, because it combines strategy with entertainment.
The sport became professional in 1702 where the first bets were waged by Queen Anne of England. She now has a race named after her in the Royal Ascot meeting where the horse betting stakes are set very high. In 1750 the Jockey Club was established which mandated all rules and regulations for racing as well as putting stipulations on breeding.
James Weatherby was given the task to record every full-blooded race-horse in England. He compiled all of his results into a book called the Introduction to the General Stud Book. Since then the Weatherby family has a kept precise records of all pure-bred horses in England which are now known as Thoroughbreds.
Horse Racing was first introduced to the United States in 1665 by British colonists, but it was not until after the Civil War that that sport really took off. In its early years in America, the sport was full of corruption mostly associated with gambling. In 1894 the American Jockey Club was established mirroring the English version. This put an end to corruption but almost an end to the sport. Most states banned horse betting which caused the sport to take a turn for the worse.
It wasn’t until 1908 that the sport made a turn around when the Kentucky Derby was introduced and pari-mutual horse betting was legalized. This type of betting permitted the state legislature to make a sum of the money earned on betting. Since then Horse racing has had its ups and downs but still holds its place as a major professional sport in the United States.