History of Greyhound Racing
The Origin of Greyhounds and Greyhound racing remains unclear, but it is believed that Greyhounds have originated in ancient Egypt. All through the ancient world the old breed of Greyhounds was treated with honor and Greyhounds were closely connected with Royalty and Nobility.
Later, greyhounds were also raised in other great civilizations of the past like: Persia, Greece and Rome.
In England Greyhounds became an important part of the culture. At first, in the 11th century laws prevented the common people from owning or raising Greyhounds that were considered a symbol of nobility. Greyhound racing started somewhere in those days.
In the days of Queen Elizabeth the first (1533-1603) coursing rules were finally introduced, and new rules established issues like: hares head start, the judging of the speed and agility of the greyhounds racing in the chase. Winning the race involved catching the hare but also other issues for which points were distributed. Wagers that were laid by spectators attracted additional crowd to the races.
A mechanical lure, invented in England in 1876, allowed six dogs to race on a straight track. However it did not capture the interest of the people.
In 1912, O. P. Smith invented a revolutionary mechanical lure circa that could travel around a circular track that made Greyhounds racing possible. He is considered the 'father' of American greyhound racing. Smith promoted the first major greyhound racing meeting in California. The first track opened 1919. Later tracks sprung up all over America.
Greyhound racing was finally introduced in England in 1926, with the first official meeting taking place at Belle Vue Manchester. The working classes embraced the new sport and the tracks spread all other the Nation and Greyhound Racing was established as a leading sport.
Today greyhounds race in all corners of the world.
While running after its lure in special racetracks, greyhounds can reach speeds of 64 km/h (40 mph). The breed’s physical characteristic, such as its deep chest and great lung capacity, narrow and aerodynamic head, strong muscles, give the greyhound its quick acceleration and speed.