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The Sport of Kings and Queens

  • The beloved horses of kings and queens.
  • Betting.
  • Horse racing.
Racing horse
Racing horse portrait in action.

One of the oldest sports than mankind can remember is horse racing. It’s basic settings and concept has encountered no extreme change over the years and centuries. It used to be a contest of speed and endurance between two horses and it developed into a show including huge areas for running, refined electronic monitoring tools and boundless amount of money.

The prime feature has always been the same since the first beginning: the horse that first finishes the whole race is the ultimate winner.

Now, in modern days, horse racing became and built an aberration of the recreation class into a huge public-entertainment project business. The first couple of decades into the 21st century the sport’s fame and reputation had decreased considerably.

Horse racing is a show sport, it performs and it gives a lot of enjoyment and entertainment to the public. It is also called equestrianism.

Horse races differentiate in format and a lot of countries have built their agendas and ways-to-go around the sport. It varies from not letting races happen between two particular breeds, to running over obstacles, running over distances, running on different track surfaces and running in different gaits.

The prime reason for the horse racing is merely the fun of it, the sport and entertainment behind it all, but also a major part of horse racing's interest and economic importance is in the betting industry related with it, a sport and activity that in 2008 was worth US$115 billion.

History of Kings, Queens, and their beloved horses

Horse racing has a long and remarkable storyline especially in England and their Kings and later on Queens also.  It has been practiced in civilizations throughout the world since ancient times. The earliest mentioned and written facts of competing horses are from Hugh, the French House of Capet which he gave away as a gift to

        · King Athelstan of England in the 9th century.  Under his reign, a prohibition took place on the export of English horses, supposedly to favor the continental ones. Continental ones were still permitted for import, and many were brought to England by William the Conqueror.

After some years and decades, another trend came in hit; it was Thoroughbred racing which remains very famous between aristocrat families and especially British Royals. It is also called with the title "Sport of Kings".

         · Facts on this got more serious as they were recorded and written during the reign of Henry VIII. He passed several laws according to the horses' breeds and also brought to England a big number of stallions.

       · King Charles II was a devoted sportiest who gave Newmarket its eminence. During 1750, the Jockey Club was built to manage the New Market races, to organize and set the rules of the game, avoid falsehood and to make up for a level field.  These two clubs began to set the standards even though most of the racing took place for tiny prices of money and excessive local prestige in landowners fields and the rising towns.

        · Her Majesty’s Queen Elizabeth diary will display one obvious entry the Royal Ascot. She was a young princess in 1945 when she first attended the iconic event of racing and social calendar. As a Queen, she never failed to open each day of the meeting with a great arrival on the horse and carriage.

     · Early 18th century Queen Anne kept a huge string of horses and was a key role in the formation and founding of Royal Ascot. Each year the opening race was called the Queen Anne Stakes. The first account of race results was displayed by  John Cheney's Historical long list of all the  Top Horse Races and all plates and prizes run for in England and Wales which was in 1727. 

         · The Weatherbys won and succeeded Cheney, as the best guardians and keepers of the most complete set of racing records which in a later work came into their possession.

      · Under Charles I of England reigning, spring and autumn race meetings were published to Newmarket and in 1634 the first Gold Cup event took place. All horses and races were banned in 1654 and a lot of horses were requested by the state itself.

        · Her Majesty’s field glasses never missed any horse racing event in their agenda of sports, the Derby, at Epsom. During this Classic race, a horse, when he was only three years old, got one chance and one chance only to win and that’s what makes the Derby so amazing and special.

Very perceptive about horses and breeds, she observes the progress very closely of her actual and future champions at the Royal Stud, at Hampton Court.

       · Relating to the official site of the British monarchy, Queen Victoria is said to have become so excited during a race at Ascot, that she broke the window of the Royal box in a hurry to see the finish. King Charles II make Newmarket horse racing fashionable

      · Prince Philip is a very experienced and excited driver. He is well respected for his amazing features and skills of this sport. Since 1973 The Duke has taken the curbs, ably managing his team when representing Britain at different European and World championships. Since then until today, besides his health problems, he still goes into steering his four spirited ponies. His Royal Highness got obsessed to horseracing and immediately qualified as ‘geriatric’ when he left polo, in 1970. He had fought each chukka with so much energy.

      · Princess Royal is also an acclaimed horse lover and sportiest. She has a long list of distinctions attached to her name. In 1971, Princess Anne, competing as an individual in her only second Three-Day Event, became European Champion at Burghley and was declared BBC’s Sports Personality of The Year.

       · Daughter Zara Philipps has stepped and followed in her footsteps and in 2003 she won the second price at the amazing Burghley Horse Trials, a former competition which was won by both her parents back in the days. To mention Zara without mentioning also her horse Toytown, would not be fair at all. They both took Gold medals at the European Eventing Championship in Blenheim 2005. Also, gold and silver medals at the 2006 World Equestrian Games which took place in Germany and since then she was the reigning Eventing World Champion.

Croupier
Croupier behind gambling table in a casino.

Betting

Generally, at most horse racing events, there is a wagering area where gamblers can bet money on a particular horse. Gambling on horses is banned at some tracks like at Springdale Race Course, home of the nationally renowned Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD Bank) Carolina Cup and Colonial Cup Steeplechase in Camden, South Carolina is well known as one of the areas where betting is illegal due to a law formed in 1951. Where gambling is allowed, most tracks offer pair mutual betting where the money is played and shared in proportion between the winners once a deduction is made from the pool. In some other countries and different areas to play such as the UK, Ireland, and Australia, another way and more popular ease are provided by bookmakers who effortlessly make a market in advantage. This way allows the betters to secure their odds on a horse at a particular time.

In conclusion, gambling on horse races has been the key root source of the bid of the sport since it first began, is the one and exclusive factor that horse racing has survived as a major sports entertainment.