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Second Place
Tamas Dezso Freelance
"Hungarian Horseracing"


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Horse's shadow cast on a stable wall before Saturday afternoon's races. 24/04/2004

Hungarian horseracing is going through a crisis it has never seen in its 180-year history. The racing company is one of the few remaining state monopolies, and the only loss-making racing business in the world. But with the state unwilling to provide more subsidies, shutting down the business seems a scenario looming large. Horseracing was introduced in Hungary in the early 19th century by the statesman Count István Szé chenyi, the 'greatest Hungarian'. He organized the first races using what he saw in England as a model -- the first race in Hungary took place on June 6, 1827. The immense success of the races was one of the factors that made Budapest, a burgeoning capital city, a major metropolis of Central Europe. In the second part of the 20th century, pre-war traditions were swept aside by the communist regime, and the new democracy that followed communism have brought a variety of rival games that have lured many bettors away from the races.

 

 

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