Horse racing in Poland can be dated to 1777, when a horse owned by Polish noble Kazimierz Rzewuski beat the horse of the English chargé d'affaires, Sir Charles Whitworth, on the road from Wola to Ujazdów Castle. The first regular horse racing was organized in 1841 on Mokotów Fields in Warsaw by Towarzystwo Wyścigów Konnych i Wystawy Zwierząt Gospodarskich w Królestwie Polskim (in English, the Society of Horse Racing in Congress Poland). The main racetrack in Poland is Warsaw's Służewiec Racecourse. The industry was severely limited during the Communist era, when gambling, the major source of funding, was made illegal.
Horse racing in one form or another has been a part of Chinese culture for millennia. Horse racing was a popular pastime for the aristocracy at least by the Zhou Dynasty - 4th century B.C. General Tian Ji's strategem for a horse race remains perhaps the best known story about horse racing in that period. In the 18th and 19th centuries, horse racing and equestrian sports in China was dominated by Mongol influences.
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During the late 1920s and the ’30s racetracks became an important source of tax revenue, and by the second half of the 20th century horse racing had become big business. Fields regularly numbered a dozen or more. Once race meetings lasted a day or two, later a week or two, and today, particularly where climate allows, races may be scheduled for half the year or more. More racing dates require more horses, and horses are raced more intensively. Purses grew, particularly after World War II. In 1981 a new American race, the Arlington Million (run at Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Illinois, outside of Chicago), was the first million-dollar race. Purses routinely topped this amount in the 21st century, growing to greater than $10 million for certain high-profile races.
Mick Gibbs is a roofer by profession, constructing and repairing roofs across Staffordshire in England. That’s not his only skill however. Gibbs also has an eye for winning accumulator bets. His first big win came in 1999 when he bet £2.50 and correctly predicted nine football games across Europe. That earned him £157,000. That’s small change compared to his next big win however. In 2001, Gibbs bet 30 pence to predict the winners of 15 football games across Europe and was given odds of 1,666,666. The first 14 games went exactly as Gibbs predicted so everything now depended on a Champions League match in which Bayern Munich would need to beat Valencia. The game ended in penalties. The last kick of the game was from Valencia defender Mauricio Pellegrino, but the moment the ball landed in the hands of Bayern Munich’s goalkeeper, Gibbs was £500,000 richer. Not bad for a 30 pence stake.
Chariot racing was one of the most popular ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine sports. Both chariot and mounted horse racing were events in the ancient Greek Olympics by 648 BC and were important in the other Panhellenic Games. It continued although chariot racing was often dangerous to both driver and horse, which frequently suffered serious injury and even death. In the Roman Empire, chariot and mounted horse racing were major industries. From the mid-fifteenth century until 1882, spring carnival in Rome closed with a horse race. Fifteen to 20 riderless horses, originally imported from the Barbary Coast of North Africa, were set loose to run the length of the Via del Corso, a long, straight city street; their time was about 2½ minutes.