Horse Racing History in Australia Australia is known for their love of horses and horse racing and the history of horse racing in this wonderful nation has a long and colorful one. The first horses to have arrived here were shipped aboard the Lady Penrhyn and they reached the shores of Australia on January 26, 1788, which is considered to be an important date because it signified the founding of this nation. Australia was handed down the great tradition of horse racing by England who has been racing horses for so many years prior to the founding of the Land Down Under. So it wasn't surprising that Australia was given this tradition too. Along with horse racing, Australians were also handed down the tradition of betting on these races from the English. In 1805, the very first auction for horse bloodstock was held and five years after that horse racing became a popular event around Sydney. The first horse racing event was held at Hyde Park in October 1810 and spectators and punters flocked to the venue for their first taste of an official horse racing event. At the time there were about 1,100 horses in Australia and most of them were brought to this nation from South Africa and India. In 1814, Tasmania had their first race events and in 1836 Western Australia had their own first race events. Victoria hosted their first official race events in March 1838. The Australian Jockey Club or AJC was founded in 1842 and a year later Queensland had their first races, as well as Adelaide and South Australia. In 1883, the Australian Jockey Club had almost 200 clubs that followed their rules and regulations on horse racing. In just over a hundred years, Australia already has a solid horse racing industry and ever since its inception horse racing has become a familiar and popular sport in this great nation. One of the most famous horse race events in Australia, and the one which most Aussies come to attend, is the Melbourne Cup. This major horse race event is so popular among Australians, and even people from other countries, that some say it stops the whole nation from doing what they are doing. People behind the sports industry even schedule their other sporting events around the Melbourne Cup because they know that Aussies would choose the Cup over all the other games. The Melbourne Cup was first held in 1861 at the Flemington Racecourse and the first horse to have won this was a stallion named Archer. More than 4,000 spectators came to show up for the first event and there were about seventeen starters who raced the two-mile stretch. The prize for that event was â‚¤170 and a gold watch, which would be surprising for people of today but back then owning a watch was considered to be a luxury that most could not afford. It was during the 19th century when the Melbourne Cup replaced the gold watch with the ceremonial 'Cup' for the winning horse and jockey. Today, going to the horse races in Australia has become a tradition and the number of people watching and betting on these events has gone past the thousand mark.
Author's Bio: Roldan Cardoza is a freelance writer and a bookmakers. He has been writing about horse racing and Melbourne Cupâ€”for more than three years. He resides in Melbourne, Australia where he occasionally writes reviews on Melbourne Cup Betting and Horse Racing.
Published on Aug 28, 2011
Horse Racing news from Australia & Overseas. Compare bookmaker promotions, race betting odds, view horse racing results, form guides & more.