There has been horse racing of sorts for lots of many years. Horse racing began in Assyria in c. 1500 B.C. and Chariot Racing was a popular event in Roman Times. It remained in reality the Romans who are thought to have ran the very first horse race in the UK, however the first actual recorded event of a conference was in 1174, this happened at a horse fair in the north-west part of London called Smithfield.
The Royal Household are behind a lot of the historic developments that changed and shaped racing for many years, with Henry II importing horses specifically for reproducing and Charles II being the very first to introduce a set of rules in 1664 (for the Newmarket Town Plate). It was in 1752 the Jockey Club formed and penned The Rules of Racing.
The Derby is the oldest flat race having started in 1780 at the Earl of Derby's estate in Epsom, it was worked on a sweepstakes basis and is still naturally being run every year now, as is the Grand National which was first run in 1856, however the first documented nationwide hunt (as we understand it now) race was in Cork, Ireland in 1752, it was a 4 miles 5 furlongs contest in between two church steeples which is the factor the term 'steeplechase' was coined.
Function and types of horse racing
The function of a H.race is to identify the fastest of two or more horses over a particular distance with the very first horse to cross the winning line being the winner.
Horse Racing Categories - Flat
In the UK and Ireland there are 3 variations of race categories. The very first is Flat Racing, where horses run over a distance in between 5 furlongs and 2 miles 6 furlongs on turf. The flat season begins in March and runs through to November with differing quality of races with Group 1 contests being the highest. The youngest horses contending on the flat are 2 years old.
Horse Racing Classifications - All Weather
All Weather condition Racing is the 2nd race category and resembles flat racing other than contests occur on an artificial surface area, which can be utilized all year round (thus the name All Weather condition). A number of the All Weather condition H.racing tracks also have floodlit tracks indicating they can use night racing.
Horse Racing Categories - National Hunt
The 3rd classification is National Hunt where horses compete on grass over longer ranges varying from 1 mile 6 furlongs (very minimal number of junior bumper races) and 4 miles 4 furlongs. Within National Hunt there are further category types, these are Bumpers (likewise called National Hunt Flat races) where there are no obstacles and are targeted at offering horses the experience of completing on a race course, Chases where the competitors must clear fences and Obstacles where they should leap obstacles. This suggests for instance that you can have a handicap chase or a maiden difficulty and so on. The distinction between a fence and a difficulty is rather considerable with a fence being stronger and higher. A hurdle race will only consist of difficulties whereas a chase can consist of a range of challenges including water dives and ditches along with fences.
Horse Racing Category
Within each category of racing there are various types of contests dependent on a horse's experience and capability. Normally races are categorised by an age group (for instance 4 year olds+) and/or an official ranking bracket (a rating given to each horse by the handicapper based upon its performance to this day). Maiden races are for horses who have not yet won a race. Handicaps are when a horse is weighted based on its previous ability - in a perfect world, a handicap ought to lead to all horses crossing the goal at the same time. Nursery races are handicap races on the flat/all weather condition for two year old horses. Non handicaps are when all horses carry the very same weight (although this figure can be adjusted based upon charges Geeky Gambler applied as set out in the race terms - for instance the rules may mention that all horses will bring 9 stone however that an additional weight of 3 pounds will be applied to horses who have won in the last 6 weeks).