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Horse Racing in the UK
Horse racing is one of the oldest sports in all of human history. If you’re unfamiliar with what it is, horse racing is the sport of running horses at high speed. These horses are usually Thoroughbred horses that are ridden by a driver.
There are different types of horse racing.
The first type of horse racing is called racing on the flat. This means that the jockey riding the horse is tested on their skill, speed, and horse riding stamina. Instead of jumping over obstacles, the jockey rides on flat land and must know when to make an effort for their horse to go faster and perform better.
The second type of horse racing is called harness racing. Harness racing typically means that the horses run at a particular speed, usually pulling a cart. This cart is also known as a sulky, and a driver accompanies the horse.
History of horse racing
Thanks to the Britannica website, we have some information about the history of horse racing. Back in the period between 700-40 BCE, horse racing took place during the Olympic games in Greece. These races were of two types, chariot racing and mounted, bareback races.
These races were organized for public entertainment, and crowds would flock to the streets to watch the races take place. In addition to horse racing being popular in Greece, both chariot and bareback races were popular during the Roman Empire.
Historians haven’t been able to find much information or evidence about horse racing in other countries and civilizations. Still, many historians and researchers suspect that organized horse racing took place in China, Arabia, and other countries in the Middle East.
How Many People Bet on Horse Racing?
Horse racing is a very popular sport. On a personal note, I was first introduced to horse racing after watching the Audrey Hepburn film, My Fair Lady when I was a child. After watching the movie, I was under the impression that horse racing was popular in the 1960s but not for much longer after that. I was sadly mistaken!
The 21st century has shown us that horse racing has been and continues to be one of the most popular sports of our time. In an article by Racing Explained, we’ve learned that horse racing is the second most popular sport in the UK in terms of spectator sports. Football is the most popular sport in the UK.
After a series of surveys were conducted, we found out that over 5.5 million people watch horse races in the UK. An interesting fact is that 40% of those people are women!
While My Fair Lady might have given some of us the impression that going to the races requires formal dressing, this isn’t true. We’d argue that the reason watching horse racing is so popular is because several racecourses around the UK don’t require a formal or specified dress code, thus allowing a large number of people to relax and watch the races.
How Much Money Does the Government Earn Through Horse Racing?
In data provided by Statista, we’ve learned that the revenue earned from horse racing has decreased significantly in the years between 2009 and 2020. In 2009, the UK government made around 5.74 billion pounds. However, in 2020, that number dropped.
However, it’s important to note that the number of betting shops has remained the same since 2009, with shops like William Hill and Ladbrokes making up for more than 50% of all betting shops in the United Kingdom.
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This short article took you through a brief history of horse racing, how many people bet on horse racing every year, and how much revenue the government earns every year from the sport.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or the management of EconoTimes