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13 Jan 2017

Horse Racing Around the World: Yesterday and Today

The traditions of horse racing date all the way back to 4500BC when prehistoric nomadic tribesman of Central Asia are said to have recorded the first use of domesticated horses; and the sport in general has come a long way since then.

Nowadays, horse racing is one of the most popular sporting events on the planet, with over 1,000 racecourses and tracks in Europe and the United States alone.

The Western world are incredibly fond of the horse racing scene and community and it will only continue to grow as major events, such as the Cheltenham Festival and the Grand National, are popular with the masses.

But it hasn’t always been that way. Traditionally, horse racing was inclusive for the rich and those who were ‘in the know’. Some view today’s business in the same way but it would be na├»ve and foolish to claim that horse racing is still targeted at the upper classes.

Head down to any racecourse on any given Saturday and your entrance fee will be no more than £15; a lot cheaper than the average ticket for a Premier League football match – even more so if there is a special offer on for your local track. Horse racing has a great influence on society as almost everybody can enjoy it as a spectacle even if they don’t want to place a bet on the races.

In fact, horse racing has now developed into a key sport in popular culture; largely down to the success of individual horses, trainers and jockeys. For example, everybody knows Frankie Dettori – one of the main personalities in flat racing and soon to be special guest on ITV’s new racing channel.

And ITV’s deal to take over from Channel 4 is testament to how racing is viewed. It is no longer a sport for the elite; it is inclusive of all ages, gender and race. Whether you get into horse racing from watching events on the television, simply heading down to the local track and checking out a few races or playing LadyLucks online casino games, one thing is for sure: horse racing WILL continue to grow as media attention soars.

The sport has come a long way since the days of racing in Asia and the Great British racing scene deserves a lot of credit for its rise to prominence. With so many major events on throughout the year, racing has flourished and it now ranks alongside the likes of football and basketball in terms of popularity.

So watch this space, it is only going to grow further if the sport continues to amaze as a spectacle and viewers are treated to some of the best thoroughbreds in the business...