In the early 18th century, Queen Anne kept a large string of horses and contributed to the establishment of Royal Ascot where the annual opening race is still called the Queen Anne Stakes. The first published account of race results was the John Cheney’s Historical list which contains all the Horse Matches run, plates and prizes in England and Wales from 1727. The Weatherby family followed Cheney as the keepers of the most complete set of racing records.
In 1740, despite the fact that Parliament introduced an act “to restrain and to prevent the excessive increase in horse racing”, it was largely ignored. Moreover, the Jockey Club was found in the 1750. However, until the 1760s, individual horses ran was rare due to the scarcity of prizes which began to change with major race meetings such as Newmarket and York expanding the prizes on offer.
Addiction to horse racing was at a high throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. At the end of the century, under their auspices of key influencers – the 12th Earl of Derby and Sir Charles Bunbury, the Derby and Oaks were established at Epsom, inspired by the St Leger and the growing popularity of shorter races, for younger horses. These races became well-known as the Classics. In addition to that, the first handicap was run at Ascot in 1791.
19th century to modern day
The first steeplechasing was organised by Tom Colman at St Albans in the early 1830s and the Grand National had been established at Aintree by William Lynn by the end of the same decade.
In 1875, Sandown Park was the first racecourse to open a separate members’ enclosure.
In 1947 Hamilton hosted the first evening race meeting in the UK which became so popular that now Wolverhampton Racecourse holds nearly 50 evening meetings a year.
The Jockey Club administrated the king sport at first then handed the governance role to the British Horseracing Board which formed in June 1993 and be responsible for strategic planning, finance, politics, training and marketing. In 2006 the Horseracing Regulatory Authority was formed to carry out the regulatory process whilst it focused on owning 13 racecourses and the gallops in Newmarket and Lambourn. In July 2007 the Horseracing Regulatory Authority merged with the British Horseracing Board to form the British Horseracing Authority.