Horse racing at the Ottoman Court, 1524-1728
Artan, Tülay (2020) Horse racing at the Ottoman Court, 1524-1728. International Journal of the History of Sport (SI), 37 (3-4). pp. 246-271. ISSN 0952-3367 (Print) 1743-9035 (Online)
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09523367.2020.1758072
This study explores horse racing in the Ottoman capital, from the time when it acquired regular courses during the sixteenth century, to the early 1700s when cross-country racing was systematized as its most popular form. The competitions we know to have been organized during the 1524, 1530, 1539, and 1582 imperial festivals were long-distance endurance races. Such festivities fell into gradual neglect over the first half of the seventeenth century, completely disappeared until 1675, and were then revived after the court returned from Edirne to Istanbul in 1703. Up to that point, this trajectory is very closely parallelled by the history of Ottoman horse racing. Then after the 1720s horse racing in the capital took a new path, and track-based flat racing was introduced. It was also during that time that the spatial organization of horse racing evolved from temporary installations to a permanent architecture. All the machinery and pageantry of horse racing, from paddocks through parade rings to the final theatrics of the race day, a new stage came to be constructed for this drama at Kağıdhane, where a little stream flowed through a scenic valley into the far end of the Golden Horn.
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