Ever since people have started competing against one another to show their physical dominance, others have enjoyed watching them compete, and cheering their favorite competitor on. There are various theories as to why sports are so appealing to us, but the most plausible is the one that it appeals to our tribal instincts, and that it allows us to pump our adrenaline in a controlled and socially acceptable environment. Some sports, however, are messier and more primal than others, and some, like horse racing, have a very long history of being considered a highly distinguished sport. In the United Kingdom, horse races are high social events, which are even attended by royals, who also enjoy watching the sport. Some of the races date back hundreds of years, and there is hardly a Brit that does not enjoy watching them. Here are some of the most famous horse racing events in the UK.

Royal Ascot

This event is not only widely famous across the British Isles, but it is also the favorite of the Royal family, and it is regularly attended by the Queen. It dates back to the 19th century, and the fact that it has such highly distinguished spectators speaks volumes of its significance in the racing world.

There is also a very significant prize for the lucky winners of this event, as the prize pool goes up to almost 8 million pounds.

If you have a holiday coming up next June, be sure to mark this race in your calendar, as it is not something that you should miss out on.


Although the prize pool at Cheltenham is significantly lower than that of the Royal Ascot, it is still hailed as one of the most significant and prestigious horse races in Britain. It is a real treat for all the fans that come from Ireland, as it takes place in March, and it overlaps with the most famous Irish holiday – St. Patrick’s Day.

The event comprises twenty-eight races that are spread over four days, it is a real treat for any fan. Moreover, its length and fame are what make Cheltenham more than just a regular competition; it is nowadays considered a proper festival, where you can spend good quality time with your favorite animals.

Nick Smith / The 2012 Grand National

The Grand National

The fame of this horse race meeting surpasses Great Britain, as the Grand National is one of the most esteemed and valuable racing events in the world. Up to seven hundred million people view the racing festival every year, and there are up to 150,000 people at the event.

The main charm of the Grand National is its unpredictability – some riders and horse owners even refuse to enter the competition, as there is a high risk of injuring both the animal and the rider, on the course that contains thirty fences and is almost five miles long.

However, there is a good prize for being so brave to enter this competition – the prize pool can count up to a million pounds, which is more than a good reward for courage and experience.

Epsom Derby

This horse race is so popular that it has become a household name in Britain and most of the world, as there are hardly any horse racing fans that have not yet heard of it, and even people who do not follow the sport have heard of the name at least once. This June competition was first held in 1780, and it presents a great test of endurance, speed, and movement. However, it is not only the racers that get a prize; there is also a five-thousand-pound prize for the best-dressed lady at the event. The prize pool for the Epsom derby is almost one and a half million pounds.

By Sam