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Melbourne Cup – The Race That Stops a Nation

The Melbourne Cup is Australia’s most well known and watch horse race. The race is dubbed ‘The Race That Stops a Nation’ as the whole of Australia pauses at 3PM on the first Tuesday in November to watch the 3200m Handicap.

The Melbourne Cup was first run in 1861 in which Archer won the race.

Watch the replay of last years Melbourne Cup below:


The prize money for the Melbourne Cup is $6.2million dollars up from $4.6million in 2004.

Learn more about the 2017 Melbourne Cup at

A Brief History of Horse Racing

Apparently, horse racing is among the most ancient sports. Its origin dates back to around 4500BC in Central Asia among the nomadic tribesmen who were the first people to domesticate horses. From then, the sport would grow as a sport for the Royals. As a professional sport, horse racing in the UK is traced back to soon after the English knights returned from Crusades with Arab horses. The horses were bred with the English horses, producing the Thoroughbred horse, which is used for horse racing even today. The growth of the sport was interrupted briefly by Oliver Cromwell after he banned the sport.1200px-Steeplechase_(1257926029)

However, when King Charles II took the reins (between 1660 and 1685), the sport started developing again. He had his horses, and he held races between 2 horses on open fields, or private courses and winners got prizes. The first horse racing event took place in Newmarket. Between 1702 and 1714, during Queen Anne’s reign, horse racing involved several horses and spectators would even place bets. By 1740, the popularity and influence of the sport had grown so much among the masses that an act geared towards restricting racing, apparently for the good of the nation was passed. In 1750, the royal patronage held a meeting at Newmarket, and this saw the formation of the Jockey

Club aimed at controlling English horse racing. Admiral Rous would later establish a racing calendar, doing away with match racing and organizing handicap races. In 1791, in Ascot, the first handicap was run. At about this time, the Classics were established, and the first Derby took place in 1780. Horse racing grew so fast, and 1833 saw the birth of the French Jockey Club followed by the Australian Jockey Club in 1840. Jumps racing began in Ireland in the 18th century. It was run to up to 5 mile-distances, and it featured obstacles. The race would later be called steeplechasing, and it soon developed to England where the first Grand National was run in 1839.d8843c147db8b3eb7077d5d405e756fe

The National Hunt Committee was established in 1866 to boost the sport’s popularity that was beginning to decline. The Cheltenham Festival for the jump season later took place. In 1957, Whitebread sponsored a major competition, the Gold Cup. A horse racing pattern was established in 1967, and the sport has continued to spread and grow in popularity since then. Some major highlights of the horse racing calendar include the Aintree Grand National and the Cheltenham Festival (over jumps), and the Glorious Goodwood and the Royal Ascot (on the flat).

National Football League

The history of the National Football League, NFL. The NFL was formed in 1920 in Canton in the state of Ohio, then being called the American Professional Football Association, AFPA. Then, the president of the league who was also a player in the same league was Jim Thorpe.


The league’s current name, NFL, was adopted in 1922. Among the founding teams were Cleveland Tigers, Dayton Triangles, Akron Pros, Columbus Panhandlers, and Canton Bulldogs all from Ohio. Illinois had four teams; Decatur Staleys, Chicago Tigers, Rock Island Independents and Racine Cardinals. Indiana had Muncie Flyers and Hammond Pros. Two clubs, Rochester Jeffersons, and Buffalo All-Americans came from New York while Detroit Heralds from Michigan. Of these founding clubs, only two remain in the current league, Chicago Cardinals now called Arizona Cardinals, and Decatur Staleys now called the Chicago Bears. The first official game of the early league was played in 1933. After the 2nd World War, several changes were made in the league, with the President of the league becoming more powerful than before. Teams were starting to be financially stable.


However in 1960, a rival league, the American Football League was founded. This league was so successful that it even forced a merger with the NFL in 1970 and this gave birth to a 26-team circuit and a new Championship, the Super Bowl. The league continued expanding with more teams joining, and currently, there are 32 teams in the league.

Brief History of the Australian Football League

For any sports enthusiast or sportsman, it is good to understand and know about the game you are interested in as much as possible. This article has looked at the history of major football leagues, the AFL and the NFL, and the history of horse racing.

A brief history of the Australian Football League, AFL

The history of the Australian Football League, AFL dates back to 1858. On his return to Australia, Tom Willis, a cricketer and a Rugby School, had an idea of keeping cricketers fit while on the off-season. He, therefore, wrote a mail to Bell’s Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle, expressing the need to start a ‘foot-ball club’ with a set of rules and regulations for the cricketers to remain active during Winter.r0_439_4299_2866_w1200_h678_fmax

Willis, H.C.A Harrison (Willis’ cousin), W.J Hammersy and J.B Thompson then created the game and formed the first club, Melbourne Football Club in 1858. The game was then widely known as the Australian Rules football. It blossomed quickly, and by July 31st, 1858, the first unofficial and therefore unrecorded game was played on the Richmond Paddock grounds. August 7th the same year, the first recorded match went down, between Scotch College and Melbourne Grammar.

Geelong Football Club was another early club, formed July 18th, 1859 and five years later, Carlton Football Club was also formed. By this time, the game had spread across Australia, played in several parts of the country. South Australia first played the game in 1860, Queensland played in 1866, Tasmania had its first match in 1867, Western Australia in the year 1868 and New South Wales first played in 1874. 1866 saw a competition begin after updated rules were set in place. Time limits were introduced, and the matches would now last four quarters contrary to the previous two halves. Australian Rules football would later be called Victorian Rules, and in 1877, the Victorian Football Association was formed. 1896 saw the establishment of a league, the Victorian Football League with eight teams which include; Collingwood, Carlton, Fitzroy, Geelong, Essendon, South Melbourne, St. Kilda, and Melbourne. In early 1900’s other clubs like University, Richmond joined the


Hawthorn, North Melbourne, and Footsy also joined in 1925. The league continued with 12 clubs up to 1987, after which it expanded far beyond the state. Clubs like Brisbane, West Coast, Adelaide, Port Adelaide and Fremantle joined the League. Due to this expansion, the league was named Australian Football League in 1990. The end of the 1996 season saw the merger between Fitzroy and Brisbane to form Brisbane Lions. Greater Western Sydney (also known as the Giants) and Gold Coast, the Suns, joined the league in 2010 making up the 18 teams presently in the league.