Horse and greyhound (dog) racing are two of the most popular and oldest betting sports. But, do you really know how ancient they are?
Well, the first horse races go back to the Ancient Age, more than 2,000 years ago. Chariot racing was one of the most popular Greek, Roman and Byzantine sports. Both mounted horse and chariots races were events at the ancient Olympic Games in Greece.
Whilst betting on horses is something that dates back thousands of years, the sport as it is known today dates back to the Stuart period in the history of England. Under the reign of Charles II of England and Queen Anne, horse racing became a professional sport. In fact, the latter was the one who opened several racecourses, including Ascot.
In 1815 the five British Classic Races were established: the 2,000 Guineas, 1,000 Guineas, Epsom Oaks, Epsom Derby and St Leger Stakes.
Subsequently, the game became very popular in England in the form of horse racing bets and the English extended this practice to the rest of the world. The first races only consisted of two horses and the only possible bet was the winner. Later, bets were made for the first three horses (winner, place and show).
In the 19th century, private bets made way for the proliferation of the first bookmakers. And, in 1961, betting venues outside the racetracks were legalised. In the first six months, more than 10,000 shops opened in the United Kingdom.
Now, hundreds of years later, horse racing is still one of the most popular and profitable betting markets in many countries.
As far as dog racing is concerned, its origin also dates back thousands of years. The connection between humanity and its most loyal animal friend, the dog, has existed for centuries. Some of the first documented cases of man’s affection for his animal friend are found in some paintings in the tombs of the Egyptian pharaohs.
The connections between royalty and greyhounds continued during the Middle Ages. At that time, this breed was the favourite among the aristocracy. It was probably the Romans who introduced coursing in Britain, although there is evidence that this sport was already popular among the Celts who lived in Europe at the time of the Roman invasion.
Greyhound racing wanted to promote itself as elite to compete with horse racing. Sometimes dog racing is referred to as the “Sport of Queens” in reference to Queen Elizabeth I and her greyhound coursing promotion in the 16th century.
In 1776 the first official greyhound race was held in Norfolk, England. The rules of the Swaffham Coursing Society specified that only two greyhounds could run after a hare and that the hare should have a 240-yard advantage.
However, the sport as we know it today, with circular or oval tracks and an artificial hare as a prey, appeared in the United States during the 1920s. At that time, the first bets also arise.
A century later, in 2000, the first online betting shops opened, which allowed players to bet on horse and dog races anywhere. Online betting platforms (for desktop, tablets and smartphones) like the one offered by GoldenRace, offer videos with exclusive licenses for real horse and dog racing as well as 3D horse racing.
Horse and dog racing in HD guarantee quick bets on pre-recorded events. With multiple days of racing, players have a wide variety of events to bet on at any time: 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Moreover, GoldenRace offers 3D horse racing too. This fantastic 3D sport is live-rendered and offers the best action and digital graphics. Also, this game offers operators the option to customise and add their company’s brand or ads directly on the track.
Bestbettingsites.uk. (n.d.). Discover The History & Tradition of Betting on Horse Racing in the UK. [online] Available at: https://www.bestbettingsites.uk/horse-racing/history/ [Accessed 20 Aug. 2018].
Casino Inside – The gambling industry magazine!. (n.d.). THE HISTORY OF GREYHOUND RACING (I) – Casino Inside – The gambling industry magazine! [online] Available at: https://www.casinoinside.ro/istoria-curselor-cu-ogari-i/?lang=en [Accessed 20 Aug. 2018].
Encyclopedia Britannica. (2017). Dog racing | sport. [online] Available at: https://www.britannica.com/sports/dog-racing [Accessed 20 Aug. 2018].
Encyclopedia Britannica. (2018). Horse racing | History & Facts. [online] Available at: https://www.britannica.com/sports/horse-racing [Accessed 20 Aug. 2018].