The first documented horse race was held in Maryland in 1790, and the Annapolis Maryland Gazette reported the event. The article listed the order of finish and described the race as “great.” Many jockeys of the time were young male slaves. The typical handicapping weight was around 140 pounds, including the jockey and his riding tack. That made the race a symbol in many ways. Nonetheless, the race was a spectacle.
Many media scholars have studied how news coverage of the horse race affects political outcomes. The style of reporting heavily relies on opinion polls and gives the most favorable coverage to the frontrunner. However, the coverage of third-party candidates has become more subtle. In a recent study, researchers examined the impact of probabilistic forecasting on horse race coverage. The results showed that journalists were more likely to give favorable attention to the frontrunners than to the underdogs.
As the popularity of racing grew, more races were organized in the United States. The first organized horse race was held in 1664 in New Amsterdam. The royal governor of the city of New York established the racetracks in the colony. After the Dutch surrender, Col. Richard Nicolls laid out a 2-mile course in the plains of Long Island, calling it “Newmarket” after the British racecourse. Nicolls offered a silver cup to the winner. These races continued until the American Civil War, when speed became the hallmark of the Thoroughbred.
Technological developments have significantly impacted horse racing over the last several decades. While the vast majority of the tradition and rules remain the same, the Information Age has made it possible to make significant improvements. The most significant change to horse racing concerns race safety. New technologies like thermal imaging cameras can detect overheating horses post-race, while X-rays and MRI scanners can identify major health conditions before they become severe. 3D printers are also becoming available to produce casts, splints, and prosthetics for injured horses.
Although its exact origin is unknown, it is generally believed to have originated in the ancient Roman Empire. During the reign of Louis XIV (1643-1715), horse racing became widely popular. Louis XVI, who had a great interest in gambling, created a jockey club and established rules for racing. He also imposed extra weight on foreign horses. During the 1600s, stamina was the key to equestrian success.
The horse race has been part of Chinese culture for millennia. In the fourth century B.C., horse racing became popular among the aristocratic class. General Tian Ji’s strategy to win the race remains the most famous horse race in history. Mongol influences took over the sport of horse racing during the 18th and 19th centuries. While many of us are aware of General Tian Ji’s strategy, few people know the history of Chinese horse racing.
One of the world’s longest horse races, the Mongol Derby, is the longest horse race, covering 621 miles and tracing the path of Genghis Khan’s horseback messenger system. Long, a 70-year-old man, was able to complete the race with 28 horses in eight days. But his story is not as interesting as it seems. He was the first to successfully complete the race, and it became one of the oldest horse races in the world.