With deep historical and traditional roots, horse racing is among the oldest sports in existence today. The sport is believed to have originated from Middle Asia at around 4500 BC, spreading to other cultures over time. In the 1750s, the game highly grew in popularity, becoming a common sport in Europe during the Roman Empire. However, people still see horse racing as a sport for the wealthy due to the high cost of breeding and maintaining the horses.
The Evolution of Horse Racing
Over the centuries, horse racing has evolved in different ways. Today, horse racing fans can enjoy different types of races, including the highly popular flat races, steeple-chasing or jump racing and endurance racing. Even better, betting operators have embraced the sport, offering solid odds and bonuses like the Ladbrokes Royal Ascot offers to encourage fans to wager on the game.
Besides Betting, this equestrian sport has also witnessed dramatic changes in other areas. Here are the most significant changes that horse racing has experienced since its origin.
Changes Witnessed In Horse Racing
During the 1900s, horse racing was a sport reserved for the wealthy in the society. However, the sport’s interest is now widespread, attracting people all social and economic backgrounds. Even better, race tracks are now accessible to the common people as opposed to the early days.
The equestrian sport has also opened its opportunities to women, with plenty of female trainers and jockey competing worldwide. Thanks to this accessibility, many countries all over the world are embracing the sport and commissioning new tracks to support rising talents.
With advancements in sports technology, horse racing equipment has become more modern and boasts of a higher quality than before. Modern-day nylon bridles or softer leather has replaced the traditional metal strips and blankets, with heavy saddles replaced with lightweight and barely visible ones. These upgrades not only make the rides comfortable for the racing horses, but it also lowers the risk of riders getting injured.
Better Veterinary Practices
During the 1920s, injured horses met the dire fate of being euthanised on the tracks. However, with the evolution of the sport, breeders can now afford better health management programs for their horses. That means saving as many horses as possible by helping them receive proper care for a smooth recovery.
Horses and Breeding
With thoroughbreds used for more than just the main races, horses are now more versatile than ever. These horses are put through careful breeding and professional management, with breeding horses used for as many as 400 mares a year. That’s a significant increase from the early ‘90s, where merely 40 mares were bred by a single shuttle stallion.