Home Page

Stefan's Florilegium


This document is also available in: text or RTF formats.

horse-racing-msg - 8/21/02


Period horse racing.


NOTE: See also the files: horses-msg, Horse-n-t-MA-art, saddles-msg, animal-prices-msg, sports-msg, chivalry-msg, horse-recipes-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From: ChrisAct at nwlink.com.com (Chris)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period Horse Racing

Date: Sun, 09 Jun 2002 06:29:55 GMT


Hey, remember back on Sun, 09 Jun 2002 03:24:17 GMT, when Tom S.

<tshehan2004 at yahoo.com> said:

>Was there ever any evidence of period horse racing.


From www.britannica.com/eb/article?eu=42012&tocid=3309&query=horse:

"Knowledge of the first horse race is lost in prehistory. Both four-hitch

chariot and mounted (bareback) races were held in the Olympic Games of Greece

over the period 70040 BC. Horse racing, both of chariots and of mounted riders,

was a well-organized public entertainment in the Roman Empire. The history of

organized racing in other ancient civilizations is not very firmly



Unfortunately, www.britannica.com only gives "teasers", not full articles.

Still, that should be enough to answer your question. :)



From: "dbooker" <dbooker at calcna.ab.ca>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period Horse Racing

Date: Sun, 9 Jun 2002 21:45:09 -0600

Organization: University of Calgary


"Baronessa Ilaria" <baronessailaria at aol.com> wrote:

> Do a search on "palio" for information on the great races of Siena, Italy


A book which might make a beginning place for research on Royal stables in

England is

"The Royal Office of the Master of the Horse" by M. M. Reese, Threshold

Books Limited, 1976 ISBN 0901366900.


Chapters 1- 12 inclusive cover the matter from pre-Norman Conquest to the

end of the reign of Elizabeth I.  No bibliography as such, but a couple of

paragraphs of thanks to the archivists of the Calendar Roles and the State

Papers and such -like sources.  Also, a good list of sources for the 200+



Aldreada of theLakes (Barony of Montengarde)



From: zebee at zip.com.au (Zebee Johnstone)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period Horse Racing

Date: Sun, 09 Jun 2002 06:23:15 GMT

Organization: Pacific Internet (Australia)


In rec.org.sca on Sun, 09 Jun 2002 06:02:11 GMT

Charlene Charette <charlene at flash.net> wrote:

>Google is your friend  :)

>Try "horse racing history"; this is just the first hit:




One with a few more facts (well, they are stated as facts, ain't no

footnotes...) is http://www.derbypost.com/history1.html


Anyone have any idea if this stuff is likely, especially the name

derivations like "hobby" and "cocktail"?


As early as 1140, the first of a long line of kings named Henry tried

to improve Hobby horses--pony-sized Irish horses--by importing Arab

stallions to give them more speed and stronger power. Throughout the

Crusades, from 1096 to 1270, Turkish cavalry horses dominated the

larger English warhorses, leading the Crusaders to buy, capture or

steal their share of the stallions. After the War of the Roses, which

decimated England's horse population, King Henry aimed to rebuild his

cavarly. Both the king and his son, Henry VIII, imported horses from

Italy, Spain and North Africa, and maintained their own racing stable.

Henry's Hobbys, as they were called, raced against horses owned by

other nobility, leading the word "hobby" to mean a "costly pastime

indulged in by the idle rich." It also lends credibility to horse

racing being labeled as the Sport of Kings, although this phrase's

orgination comes later, as found in Part II. Henry used tax revenues

to maintain his stables, claiming that by breeding winners with

winners he could improve the quality of the cavarly. While certainly a

landmark philosophy in horse racing, Henry was unable to apply its

practice; his Master of the Horse, the title of Henry's racing stable

director, was not a professional horseman and recklessly crossbred the

entire stable. The stable consisted of a variety of international

horses with an even wider mix of genes, so well mixed they earned the

moniker "cocktails," our current word for a mixed drink. It is not

known for sure, but this may be the oldest piece of evidence linking

horse racing with drinking! Anyway, Henry's daughter, Elizabeth I,

drastically improved her father's stable during her fifty-year reign,

dispensing of horses not qualified for racing or the cavalry and

moving the best horses to new barns at Tutbury near Staffordshire.

Elizabeth kept a close watch on matings and systematically recorded

pedigrees. On the advice of her Master of the Stable the Queen added

more Arabian horses to the stable, breeding Arab stallions to Hobby

and Galloway (Scottish) mares.





From: David Friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period Horse Racing

Date: Sun, 09 Jun 2002 09:33:29 -0700


I believe there is a tradition that Mohammed said it was not permitted

to bet accept on a horse, an arrow, or some third thing I have forgotten.






From: CMNewell <reshan at deyr.ultranet.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period Horse Racing

Date: Thu, 20 Jun 2002 16:48:29 -0400

Organization: Minglewood


On Sun, 09 Jun 2002 09:33:29 -0700, David Friedman <ddfr at best.com>


>I believe there is a tradition that Mohammed said it was not permitted

>to bet accept on a horse, an arrow, or some third thing I have forgotten.




'Allah's Mesenger said, "Races should only be arranged between

camels, horses, and arrow-throwers." '


Scholars have argued as to whether laying wages on such races is

permissible in Islam. Some think that wagers on any of the 3 is

allowed, while others say only horse races.


Regardless, racing of horses is permitted. Even the Prophet himself

engaged in racing.  Prizes were given to participants.


Quotation and above information is from "Merits of the Horse in

Islam", by Al-Hafez Abdul-Mu'men Al-Dumyati, trnaslation by Dr. Munzer

A. Absi and Aamahan Sallah.


(Al-Dumyati lived from  613-705 a.h. or 1193-1285 c.e)


                   --Faris ibn Muhammad


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org