Horse Racing is one of the oldest sporting events that still remain popular around the world. The history of horse racing dates back hundreds of years and can be tied into the Roman Empire. The Romans had chariot races with horses running for hundreds of years, but the first time horse racing was documented in the United States wasn’t until 1665. In 1665 a horse racing track was built and called the “Newmarket” on the Salisbury Plains in Long Island, New York. The first race was operated by the New York Colonial Governor.
It wasn’t until 1868 when horse racing started to become an organized sport in the USA. By the year 1890 there were already 314 horse racing tracks built in the United States and it had quickly become one of the most watched sports of it’s time. The American Jockey Club was formed soon thereafter in the year 1890 and in the early 1900’s most states were forced to ban betting.
When the ban on betting took place in the early 1900’s it caused a lot of the sports spectators to stop watching the sport. The reason why horse racing was such a popular sport when it first started in the US was because anyone could wager on the outcome of the race. Once there was a ban on betting a lot of the sports fans decided that it wasn’t worth their time anymore. In 1908 there was a change to the law and it allowed people to bet on sports, but only against other people and not against the house.
Once betting became available again horse racing started to take off in popularity until WWII. After the war horse racing was a sport that was in trouble and it didn’t become popular again until the Triple Crown started. The three Triple Crown races helped the sport become popular again and it has remained one of the most popular sports in the world since then. The Triple Crown runs every single year and is a series of three races which take place in the months of May and June. The races are for thoroughbred horses only and no other types of horses are allowed to run in these three races.
Endurance racing is another form of horse racing which didn’t start until 1955. In 1955 horse competed in the Tevis Cup which was the very first endurance horse race. The race was 100 miles long and took a full day for the horses to complete. Another form of horse racing is “Quarter Racing” was first took place in 1674 in Virginia. Only two horses would compete in these races and they would race down village streets. This was definitely not the safest form of horse racing to ever take place.
Some of the popular horse racing tracks which have been built over the years consist of Saratoga Springs in New York, Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Churchill Downs in Louisville and Belmont Park in Elmont. These race tracks have been around for more then 100 years and they have a lot to do with the popularity of the sport today.