The official sport of Horse racing is a big spectator sports within the UK as well as one of the oldest and most steeped in tradition. Fans of the sport generate billions of pounds for the British economy and horse racing events have been held in the country for centuries.
This sport is known to have taken place as early as back in Roman times and a lot of sports rules and regulations were formed back then. Fans of this equestrian contest are lucky enough to be able to attend or often view live broadcasts of different races pretty much all year round as it’s not a seasonal sport.
These events come in different forms but generally the main two are:
- Flat Racing – run over various distances without any obstacles
- National Hunt Racing – Also often known as the Steeplechase where the animals run over a longer distance and have to jump over hurdles and fences.
Throughout the year there are several high profile competitions that generate huge amounts of interest even amongst spectators and punters who don’t usually follow the sport. So lets have a look at some of these major events and others that occur through January till December each year.
The Grand National
It would be near impossible to try and discuss the tradition of equine racing without mentioning The Grand National. This is a big event on any fans calendar, this event generates huge interest across the UK and the rest of the world.
Staged at Aintree in Liverpool, it has been running since 1839 and today it is estimated that more than half a billion people from more than 100 countries watch this steeplechase over more than 4 miles with obstacles that are much bigger than usually found in traditional national hunt racing. This usually takes place during the month of April.
Major Horse Racing Events
As well as the aforementioned Grand National there is also many other major events in a race meeting calendar. In Great Britain there are many racecourses and it’s very likely that those interested in the sport will have a course that runs major races nearby or certainly within the surrounding areas. There is household names of horse events such as Royal Ascot, The Cheltenham Gold Cup, The Oaks and the St Leger but we will explore these and other fixtures later on.
If you are going to the races or going to be watching it and you would like some horse race betting tips, check out what we have suggested!
Horse Racing Festivals
Big ticket single races which are the pinnacle of some big racing events but numerous race tracks across the country host horse-racing festivals that often run over several days. There are 60 racecourses across the UK with the more well known ones being:
There are loads more that could go onto the list and that’s just the United Kingdom!
Main Horse Racing Events
There are scores of main races that occur not just locally but globally. To name just a few main horse races such as:
- The Kentucky Derby
- The Ladbrokes Trophy
- Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
- The Melbourne Cup
- The Dubai World Cup
- The Pegasus World Cup
- The Breeders Cup
- The Champion Hurdle
Not forgetting the five British Classics:
- The St Leger
- The Oaks
- The 1000 Guineas
- The 2000 Guineas
- The Derby
Horse Racing Derby
A horse-racing derby is typically a race that is restricted to horses that are three years old. The history of a derby goes back to the Derby Stakes which takes place at Epsom and is a huge race occasion in the English calendar.
The concept of a derby has travelled though, and you can now see derby’s taking place all over the world in places such as Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore, France, Bangalore, Germany, Scandinavia and of course Kentucky, US. Much-like the Grand National, this English derby is tuned into by millions of people who don’t usually follow this sport.
It is important to know, before you put a bet on, that there are many different types of horse racing bets which you can place. We have listed these for you to check out.
Horse Racing Fixtures
Across the breadth of the country and beyond there is umpteen major events that take place near every weekend (and during the week in fact). Here is just a snapshot of some horse-racing fixtures that are scheduled up and down the UK each year:
- Cheltenham Festival – Cheltenham – March
- The Dante Festival – York – May
- The Boodles May Festival – Chester – May
- The Dubai Future Champions Day – Newmarket – October
- The Cambridgeshire Meeting – Newmarket -September
- The King George Weekend – Ascot – July
- The Moet & Chandon July Festival – Newmarket – July
- The All Weather Champions Final Day – Lingfield Park – Good Friday
- The Northumberland Plate Festival – Newcastle – June
- The Autumn Afternoon Meeting – Doncaster – October
- Community Day _ Haydock Park – May
This sport is regularly colloquially referred to as ‘The Sport Of Kings” and Horse races will always draw huge crowds of enthusiastic punters keen to observe an often nail biting day of thoroughbreds racing around a track whilst the crowd whoops , cheers on and wills their chosen ‘nag’ towards the finish line. I have several racecourses near me and I would encourage anyone to try and locate their closest racetrack and checkout any races, it really is a great day out. You really cannot beat a day at the Horse Races!