The Sport of Kings in Scotland
Even though there are only about a hundred races run in Scotland throughout the year, horse racing is still considered a serious sport. Horse racing in Scotland is not taken lightly, and every owner, jockey and trainer in the industry is dedicated to the sport. Spectators are allowed to be a little more casual, but are still required to follow a smart casual dress code. Members of the horse racing fraternity are usually dressed in ties and jackets, with the ladies trying to win the best-dressed trophy at the race day.
There are three very popular forms of horse racing in Scotland: flat racing, steeple chasing and jump racing. Even though the types of racing might differ, one thing remains the same – the racecourses are all located in breathtaking surroundings, the courses are beautifully manicured and the service is efficient, professional and friendly. Scotland has five horse racing tracks, namely Hamilton Park Racecourse, Ayr Racecourse, Perth Racecourse, Kelso Racecourse and Musselburgh Racecourse. All these racecourses pride themselves on providing spectators, horses, jockeys and everyone at the course on race day, an event that is filled with action, relaxation and, more importantly, a fair race.
It has been said that racing in the Hamilton region has been taking place since 1782. The first documented race at the Hamilton Park Racecourse took place in 1926, and it made history in 1947 when the first evening race ever held in Britain took place here. It is a racecourse that is known for its electric atmosphere and the race meeting that is held every year, in aid of the Saints and Sinners Charity; and is located just out side of Glasgow. The closest airports to the Ayr Racecourse are the Glasgow Airport and the Prestwich Airport. Bus services frequently run from the train station to the racecourse. It is the only racecourse in Scotland to host Grade 1 races and has been hosting noteworthy live horse racing since 1777. Perth Racecourse, near Edinburgh, is located on one of the most picturesque locations in the whole of Scotland. The magical and historic Scone Palace has been home to many royals and noblemen in the past, and with money flowing through every inch of the estate it comes as no surprise that the first recorded race took place at Scone Palace in 1613.
Kelso Racecourse is surrounded by the breathtaking landscape of the Scottish Borders, and is located amidst an array of golf courses, tower houses, castles and many other sites of historical significance. Edinburgh is home to the Musselburgh Racecourse and has been part of the horse racing industry since the year 1816. It is a course that accommodates both flat racing and jump racing, and can be reached by car, train, plane and even by boat.
Horse racing in Scotland has kept its air of nobility and exclusivity. Its racecourses are situated in locations that are steeped in history, romance and nostalgia, giving each course and each race its own atmosphere and life. As with the horses that once ran across the outstretched landscapes of rolling hills and flowing fields, racehorses are leaving their own mark on history.