Horse Racing and How it became Popular in Australia

Essay by MillicentwCollege, Undergraduate May 2014

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Horse Racing and How It Came to Popularity in Australia

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Horse Racing in Australia

The horse race is a long-held sporting tradition in Australia that attracts both interstate and international tourists. In the early Australian colonial times, horses were used for labor, transport and recreation activities. Thus, it explains why horses have a special place in the Australian values. Unplanned for match races in the 1780s receded more organized contests in the early nineteenth century. Since the early nineteenth century, the Australian horse racing established a racetrack on the banks of the Hawkesbury River, on the outskirts of Sydney in 1809.1

Before the 1820s, race clubs were not formed in the Australian colonies, but when they were established, the Sydney Turf Club (1825) and the Tasmanian Turf Club (1826) were similar to the Jockey Club.

Their purpose was to serve the same functions of ensuring permanence and supervisory control. Similar to Britain and the U.S.A., the Australian clubs captured the attention of the local society and received the active support of the colonial governors.2 The Sydney Turf Club faced political brawl, but its eventual successor, the Australian Jockey Club (1842), was a fortress of respectability, conservatism and civilization. It was managed by the colonial gentry and those influential politically. It also received vice-regal patronage. The status of the Australian Jockey Club surpassed any other group in the colonial times.3

The regiments initiated horse racing in the colony of New South Wales and served as a leisure activity for the emergent gentry. In October 1810, governor Lachlan Macquarie allowed the first formal meeting at Hyde Park. The first organized race carnival in New South Wales, at Hyde Park in 1810, was due to various...