In the past 6 months, Horse Racing has gone from the 18th most popular sport in the world, to 1st. How did this happen? To understand the recent evolution of the sport, it's important to uncover the history that made it what it is.
My research has taught me that horse racing could have started a very long time ago, as horses have been around for years. I'm assuming that horses first came about in the medieval times as that is the earliest I can remember seeing them.
Enough of the history lesson. Nobody can put their finger on why horse racing has rocked the world the way it has within a year ago. All I know is you can't walk into a junior school these days without someone asking you why you're there but also without seeing hundreds of boys discussing their favourite jockeys or trading cards of rich horse owners. An increase in Map pack sales for horse racing games like 'Smackdown vs Straw' or 'Need for Speed: Cheltenham'. Many complaints have been made from parents reporting that bullying has been the effect of the craze. Father of two, Lionel Sinclair had this to say:
"My son came home from school in tears. He said that other boys in his class teased him by saying he didn't have the right 'build' to control a horse in dressage"
Ratings have tripled since last year's Grand National was shown on Bravo and no archived footage has been kept. Jockeys are just a small part of the sport, now it's all about the horses themelves. Father of two, Lionel Sinclair had this to say:
" You used to be able to walk into a stable that was home to a famous race horse and take it without anyone knowing. No one would care or ask you anything. The owner would see it was missing and say "oh no, where's my horse gone?". Now you can't do that so easy"
Some say that the 'boom' came around the time Racing Stripes (2005) was upgraded and released on bluray. I don't think we will ever be able to pin point the exact moment that Horse Racing became an occasion that every television set had switched on. For the moment, we will just have to sit back and enjoy the 'beautiful game' in all its glory.