Sports historians have identified the 19th century as a period of significant change in the sport of horseracing, during which it evolved from a sporting pastime of the landed gentry into an industry, and came under increased regulatory control from the Jockey Club. Although racehorses were the animals around which the sport developed and was practiced, they have rarely featured as historical actors in histories of horse racing. My research aims to rectify the situation by positioning the racehorse at the centre of the historical narrative. In this thesis, I examine how racehorses influenced horse racing in England between 1800-1920, and how humans interacted with and acted upon racehorses. This thesis shows that a Thoroughbred horse was not automatically a racehorse, however. Rather, it was an equine athlete that was artificially created and maintained by humans, and entered into a variety of unique relationships with them.
|University||King's College London|
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