History of Greyhound Racing

Greyhound racing is one of the competitive animal sports in which greyhounds race around a track. This track racing usually uses a lure that travels ahead of the greyhounds on a rail until the dogs cross the finish line. Just like horse racing, this racing sport also allows the public to bet on the final results.

But what is the history of greyhound racing? And what are the origins of this great sport?

Ancient Egypt

The dog is commonly referred to as man’s best friend. Man’s affection to this loyal animal can be dated back to 3000 years ago, during the era of pharaohs. Among the ancient Egyptian images of farmers, fishers, and gods, can be seen the representation of pharaohs hunting on chariots with dogs identical to today’s greyhound.

Gain in Popularity

For hundreds of years after that, the greyhound’s popularity among the noble in the society has never waned. The greyhound was even mentioned in the works of Shakespeare and Chaucer, and this showed that it was a significant type of breed to man. Moreover, it was the only type of dog that has ever been mentioned in the bible.

Where it began

The history of greyhound racing can be dated back to 2500 BC. The sport was called coursing and involved a greyhound chasing a game animal. The first official coursing was held in 1776 at Norfolk, England. The rules were simple; two greyhounds were to course a hare which was given a 240-yard head start.

The Waterloo Cup was the earliest coursing tournament that attracted a lot of people. The crowd was estimated to be 75,000. Ever since this big turn up, the Waterloo Cup tournament has been running annually.

The greyhound racing itself was introduced in Heldon, England in 1876 where six dogs raced over a 400-yard straight course.

Modern greyhound racing

The industry of modern greyhound racing emerged and become recognizable by its oval or circular tracks `and the invention of the artificial hare back in 1912. Owen Smith was the inventor of the artificial hare, and his main objective was to stop the hare killings and make people perceive greyhound racing like they do horse racing.

In 1919, Owen opened the first professional greyhound racing track in Emeryville, California. The sport was licensed for betting back in 1930 and this allowed the public to put money on the outcome of the race. Greyhound has since then grown to become more popular over the years to be what it is today.

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