In the first article of a series of different horse racing worldwide, we learn about horse racing in the United Kingdom and the United States, two out of three major countries in the sector.
Today, we will continue learning about horse racing in the remaining Australia.
Thoroughbred horse racing is one of the most popular sports in Australia; with the number attendances only lower than football and rugby league.
Australia is home to over 300 racecourses, higher than any other country in the world, and only lower than that in the United States.
Australia also ranked third in terms of the amount of prize money award yearly, behind the United States and Japan.
Like the United States, the majority of horse racing in Australia is on the flat but there is some racing over hurdles and fences organized in Victoria and South Australia.
As other nations, betting on horse racing in Australia is commonplace and an important part of this sport.
History of Australian Horse Racing
Horse racing was one of the oldest sporting activities in Australia. When British ships arrived to establish a new colony in the country, they also brought horses. It was not long until races were taking place. Then, further horses were imported. The organized horse racing took place a few more years later.
The first official horse race was organized at Hyde Park in Sydney in 1810. After that, it was spread to the most populated regions within the country.
The Australian Jockey Club was launched in 1842 and other horse racing related clubs and organizations were then formed.
By the beginning of the 20th century, horse racing was established as part of sporting culture in Australia and has continued to grow since.
Horse racing regulations
Among several regulatory bodies for horse racing, the Australian Racing Board (ARB) takes the ultimate responsibility. Despite the independence, the Registrar of Racehorses and the Australian Stud Book still have to report to the ARB.
Besides, each state has a Principal Club and may have other official clubs to organize the horse races within the region.