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The author has begun with a brief summary of pre-European horse racing, but then quickly delves into its history as it relates to each of the major European monarchies. In the mid-1700s it became formalized as a sport, and the author then covers the way it was recorded. Various anecdotes dot the landscape of this history, which becomes a history of western civilization as much as it is about racing. Race fans and social historians alike will find this guide invaluable in its history of the turf.