The Influence of Horse Racing around the World
Without a shadow of a doubt, horse racing is one of the oldest and most popular sporting events since the beginning of time.
In fact, you can trace the first signs of horse racing all the way back to Roman times as the game of royal bloods; which is perhaps why so many people view it as an elite sport. However, you find people of all ages, social class and gender at racecourse tracks nowadays and that is testament to how racing has matured in recent years.
According to the BHA, there were 59 active racecourses in Great Britain as of October 2016 - but this number is tiny compared to other racing nations. Most people assume that Britain and Ireland are the main horse racing countries but it is now a global sport; and the likes of Australia, France and the United States are massive on it.
Australia is home to an incredible 260 courses whilst France's 250 circuits dominate the European racing scene. In addition, America have daily events for both thoroughbred and harness racing.
Not only has horse racing grown as a sport for the masses but it has blossomed in popular culture and technological markets too. Major festivals, such as Cheltenham and the famous Grand National event at Aintree, have helped to attract new fans and the horse racing community has well and truly opened its doors to accommodate everybody.
Different kind of racing events have played a key role in this and the sport has had an impact on various industries all over the world. For example, the casino industry has profited from the popularity of major horse racing events; LadyLucks has a popular slot game for avid fans to get their horse fix between races. Meanwhile, online gaming has also benefited with games such as G1 Jockey helping to attract a new brand of fan in this particular industry.
And it is only going to get bigger. Horse racing remains one of the most popular sports in the world and Asia, the fastest growing economy on the planet, are huge fans of the event. In a few years, China and Japan, a country that already loves its racing, may help racing to climb above football as the most dominant sporting event on the planet - especially if the younger generation get back into racing.
Throughout history, racing has been viewed as an exclusive sport for those who can afford it but that is no longer the case. Most tracks offer fair prices for entry and minimum stakes can be very low with most bookmakers on site - and that has helped to cater for those who can't afford mega bucks.
As long as horse racing is exciting, competitive and fair, fans will flock to racecourses to see the best thoroughbreds in action. And with more and more major events cropping up on the calendar, it is certainly an exciting time to get into the sport...