Adrian McGlynn regaled us with the development of the race horse we know today. We were told it first appeared 2 million years ago, not very quick and around the size of a dog. To survive, it had to learn to run faster and grow, until around 2000 years ago when man started to use it as a beast of burden and probably discovered that riding it in races could be quite good fun.
Alongside man, it continued to develop into the animal our forefathers would have used at plough, drawn heavy loads and rode into battle. But to discover the origins of today’s thoroughbred, we only have to go back 250 years, when English noblemen, wanting to improve the performance of their racehorses, bought Arabian stallions to breed with their mares. Thus the English Thoroughbred was born and this is the stock on which racehorses the world over come from.
A top flight race horse can travel at over 44 mph with an 11 stone jockey on board and they have been timed at almost 50 mph – but that was downhill! When you consider that a sprinter like Usain Bolt runs at half this speed and doesn’t carry anything on his back, you realise what an amazing creature the Thoroughbred is.
Adrian’s enthusiasm and knowledge of racing and the English Thoroughbred was evident from his talk and was followed by a range of questions from an appreciative audience.