A New Market Town
Horse racing has been a part of the small East Anglian town of Newmarket for 400 years; the first recorded race in the town, under the reign of James I, took place in 1622. Now, it is widely regarded as the international headquarters for the horse racing industry. Of the 15,000 people living in the town, over a third work within the industry in one way or another.
For most, horse racing is only experienced through the glamorous race days themselves, but a huge amount of hard work and dedication is necessary in the lead up to those few hours of enjoyment. From a horses birth in the studs, to being auctioned at the famous Tattersalls sales, through to being trained and ridden by stable lads and kitted for the races by saddles, at every stage there are individuals that have spent their whole lives involved in the industry, often moving from many miles away or from abroad to be a part of it.
Horse racing has an impact on every area of life in Newmarket; seeing stable lads ride a string of horses down the street, stopping traffic as they go, is a daily occurrence. As the economic and cultural landscape changes across the whole of the UK, an industry that so firmly favours tradition and routine must find a way to live side by side with new developments, changing technology and multiculturalism.