The horse and chariot arrived in Eastern Europe and North
Africa a little before 1500 BC. They were introduced
by the conquer Hyksos.
The first horse race was
described by Homer in the
Iliad, a poem  about the
Trojan war. This chariot
race was the central event in
the funeral games for
Patroklos, a friend of
Achilleus killed under the
walls of Troy by Hector during the war."The first horse race
was described by Homer in the Iliad, a poem about the Trojan
war. This chariot race was the central event in the funeral
games for Patroklos, a friend of Achilleus killed under the
walls of Troy by Hector during the war. The race was ran
outside the city of Troy. The contenders were; Eumelos,
son of Admetos, Diomedes son of Tydeus, Menelaos son
of Atreus, Antilochus son of Nestor and Meriones a
charioteer of the King of Crete, Idomeneus. The winner
was Diomedes and he got the first prize, a lady.
The games held at Olympia
in ancient Greece were instituted
by Zeus after his victory over
the Titans in 1453 BC. The first
real Olympiad was disputed in
776 BC. The games were held
once every four years.
Four-Horse chariot races were
introduced to the games at the 23rd Olympiad on 684 BC and
mounted horsemen competed in races at the 33rd on 644 BC.
The Four-Horse chariot played an
essential role in the Roman circuses
where all races where run. Every
major city had at least one and
Rome had five. The Circus
Maximus was constructed by the
Emperor Caesar in Rome with room
for 260,000 spectators seated in 3000 square yards. The arena
of this circus was 2150 feet long by 725 feet wide and it had a
central spine, around which the horses had to turn, of 770 feet.
The charioteers of Rome were divided into four companies,
whose drivers competed against each other. each faction was
distinguished by a different color and dedicated to a season of
the year. Green for Spring, red for summer, blue for Autumn
and white for winter. Charioteer Diocles was the champion in
the mid-second century. During 24 years he was able to dispute
4257 races, winning 1462 for the red faction."
In Great Britain there had presumably
been racing under the Romans in
AD 200 where racehorses have been
stabled for racing proposes. The first
evidence for the import of an
Arabian horse into Britain was in
AD 1121, when Alexander I, the
King of Scotland presented the
Church of St. Andrews, with a
Arabian horse. William the
Conquer won the Battle of Hastings because his men are more
heavily armed on more powerful horses. Hunting was the
passion of  this Norman and hunting the was the main reason
for the development of a special breed
horse. In 1188 Powys, the third district
of Wales were eveloped excellent studs
for breeding. The origin of this horses
are some Spanish horses selected and
imported by Robert de Belesme,
Earl of Shrewsbury
On 7 September 1191, Richard 
Lion Heart claimed his first horse
during the famous battle of Arsuf.
In 1512 public races were
established at Chester. After the
War of the Roses Henry VIII
decided to began a serious
program of importation. The
native horse was small and with
a lack of quality. They need
a strong improvement. Francesco
Gonzaga, Marchese di Mantova in 1514, and Ferdinand de
Aragon in 1515 sent to the King broodmares, Barb stallions
and some Spanish horses. In 1517 more importation from Italy
and in the end of his reign many horses from Emperor
Charles V and from Mantua arrived in British soil. During the
reign of James VI (1566-1625) race meetings were established
near Richmond in Yorkshire and at
Croydon and Enfield Chase. In 1654
and 1655 Cromwell forbade horse-racing
in England, but after the restoration
in 1660 Charles II provided a new life
for the sport and rebuilt the house
of James I at Newmarket.








In 1689 in Ireland during the King William's war,
Captain Byerley charge the enemies with a Arabian horse
called Byerley Turk. In the beginning of the reign of
Queen Anne a brother of John Brewster Darley of Yorkshire
imported a Arabian horse from Aleppo, named Darley
Arabian. And in 1730 a man called Coke, found a brown bay
colt, about 15 hands drawing a chariot in the streets of Paris.
He brought the colt to England and gave him to a certain
Mr. Williams. Mr. Williams presented the stallion in 1731 to
the Earl of Godolphin to be a teaser. The teaser name was
Godolphin Barb.
During the Eclipse of the
sun of 1st of April 1764
Spiletta foaled in the lands
of the Duke of Cumberland
a chesnut colt, with a white
blaze and a lower right hind
leg white. His name was
Eclipse. For 75 Guineas,
Mr. Wildman, a sheep
salesman, urchased Eclipse
after the dead of the Duke, but was Colonel O'Kelly, who paid
1,750 Guineas the owner of Eclipse. Eclipse started to run only
in 1769. He was a five-year-old.He was unbeaten in 21 races
during two seasons and became a legend. Eclipse was the best
horse of the XVIII Century. Eclipse produced 334 winners and
died on 25 February 1789.

In 1776 Allabaculia won the
first running of the St. Leger in
Doncaster Yorkshire. Richard
Tattersall rented a piece of land
on the Grosvenor estate, behind
Hyde Park Corner and
established the first sales of
racehorses. In 1789 Bridget won the first running of the Oaks
in Epson. The first Derby was ran in 1780 in England, and
the winner was Diomed, owned by the moving force behind
the concept of races at the United Kingdom, Sir Charles
Bunburry. Sir Charles collected 1075 Guineas. The First Volume
of the General Stud Book was published in 1791 by James
Weatherby stating that Byerley Turk did not cover many bred
mares, but was the sire of Jigg…

 The term Thoroughbred was first used in
the U.S. in a New Jersey stallion called
Pilgarlick advertisement at the Kentucky
Gazette as early as 1778.“

Juliet Clutton-Brock



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