Shutterstock/Stefan Holm

Horseracing is a sport that continues to come under controversy. As animal rights activists continue to point the finger at the sport as one of cruelty it begs the question how long will horse racing be around for. While horse racing still exists today let’s look at some of the main facts of the sport:

It is an age-old sport

Horse racing dates back to 4500 BC in Central Asia where nomadic tribesmen used to racehorses. The sport reached Europe in around 200 AD.

It contributes billions to the economy

While many activists ask for the sport to be banned, it is unlikely to happen while it continues to bring so much money. The sport is said to generate almost four £4 million per year for the British economy alone. 

It has been outlawed before

If racing was to be banned it wouldn’t be the first time. Horse racing was once outlawed as they were needed for war purposes. During the time of Oliver Cromwell, all horses were requisitioned for the purposes of civil duty.

Horses are incredible athletes

While humans have a resting heartbeat of 60 to 100 times per minute, thoroughbred racehorses have resting heartbeats of 40 times per minute. This shows that despite the incredible work they are putting in they are managing it quite well.

The original racehorses were bred for war

The three founding sires of thoroughbred horse racing were actually brought to the UK after being bred for war overseas in the 17th and 18th centuries. This lineage continues to exist today. 

We don’t know enough about horses or the sport to comment on whether it should be banned or not. We do know that horses are an incredible animal that should be celebrated. While it is clear that horses are better off in racing than they are in war the question remains if such a sport is cruel or not.