Horse racing is an equestrian performance sport, typically involving two or more horses ridden by jockeys (or sometimes driven without riders) over a set distance for competition. It is one of the most ancient of all sports, as its basic premise – to identify which of two or more horses is the fastest over a set course or distance – has been unchanged since at least classical antiquity.
Horse races vary widely in format and many countries have developed their own particular traditions around the sport. Variations include restricting races to particular breeds, running over obstacles, running over different distances, running on different track surfaces and running in different gaits.
In the Roman form of chariot racing, teams represented different groups of financial backers and sometimes competed for the services of particularly skilled drivers. These teams became the focus of intense support among spectators, and occasional disturbances broke out between followers of different factions. The conflicts sometimes became politicized, as the sport began to transcend the races themselves and started to affect society overall. This helps explain why Roman and later Byzantine emperors took control of the teams and appointed many officials to oversee them.
Springbok (1870–1897) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse who won the seventh Belmont Stakes in 1873. Foaled in 1870, he was sired by the imported stallion Australian, his dam was a daughter of Lexington. During his racing career he started 25 races, winning 17 of them. Besides the Belmont, Springbok won the Saratoga Cup twice, in 1874 and 1875 and was named Champion Older Male horse in 1874 and 1875. After retiring from the racetrack, he sired five stakes winners and died in 1897.
Springbok was sired by the imported horse Australian and out of the mare Hester. Hester was by Lexington and out of a mare named Heads I Say by imported stallion Glencoe. Springbok was foaled in 1870, and was a chestnut stallion, bred by A. J. Alexander of Woodburn, Kentucky. Springbok was one of 26 stakes winning foals sired by Australian. Springbok was Hester's only stakes winning foal.
Santa Anita Park was opened on December 25, 1934 and is the oldest racetrack in Southern California. It was designed in the art deco style by architect Gordon B. Kaufman. Santa Anita has a one-mile (1,609 m) synthetic "cushion" main track which rings a turf course measuring 9/10 of a mile, or 7 furlongs plus 132 feet (1,448 m). In addition, it has an unusual hillside turf course which crosses the dirt and is used mainly to run turf races at a distance of "about" 6½ furlongs (exact distance 64½ feet less than same). This type of track is one of the few of its kind in America.
The Epsom Derby, known colloquially as The Derby and internationally as the Epsom Derby, is a Group 1flathorse race in Great Britain which is open to three-year-old Thoroughbredcolts and fillies. It is run at Epsom Downs over a distance of 1 mile, 4 furlongs and 10 yards (2,423 metres), and it is scheduled to take place each year in early June. It is Britain's richest horse race, and the most prestigious of the country's five Classics. It is sometimes referred to as the Blue Riband of the turf.
The Derby originated at a celebration following the first running of the Oaks Stakes in 1779. A new race was planned, and it was decided that it should be named after the host of the party, the 12th Earl of Derby. The inaugural running of the Derby was held on 4 May 1780. It was won by Diomed, a colt owned by Sir Charles Bunbury, who collected prize money of £1,065 15s.