Sport in Yorkshire – Part 2

Yorkshire is the home to many of the top sides that play in Super League’s Rugby League competition. One of the competitions most successful sides are the Leeds Rhinos who play their games at Headingly. They play of the pitch alongside the cricket stadium, so do not share the same grass, and over recent decades no club side in the country has had the same success as the Rhinos. Since the Super League first started in 1996, Leeds have won the competition eight times, setting a record. Previous to that, they competed in the Rugby Football League since its inception in 1895 and they won the title eleven times. They have also won the Challenge Cup thirteen times and the World Club Challenge Titles thrice.

The Leeds Rhinos lift another trophy

However, Leeds is not the only successful club side in the county, with every city and town having a professional team. Currently, in the top tier of Super League, six of the twelve sides are from Yorkshire, with city of Hull providing the league with Hull FC and Hull Kingston Rovers.

In the light of the county’s success in Rugby league, it has produced many good rugby union players. Yorkshire has won the County Championship on 15 occasions with only Gloucestershire and Lancashire being more successful. The highest ranked current club sides are Yorkshire Carnegie, Doncaster and Rotherham who all play in the second tier of domestic club rugby. The county has also produced many Olympic athletes. Jessica Ennis-Hill hails from the city of Sheffield and, in 2012 in London, she won Olympic Gold in the Heptathlon. The Brownlee brothers Alistair and Jonny are from Dewsbury, and the international triathletes spend much of their time training around the rural areas of the county.

Alistair won the gold medals at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, with Jonny finishing second and third in the same events.  Jonny also won the 2012 World Championships and the pair have been part of many British team event victories.

Alistair helping Jonny across the line to World Championship victory

The people of Yorkshire love their horse racing and there is a number of top tracks at Pontefract, York, Beverley Doncaster, Redcar, Ripon, and Wetherby. The biggest events are held at York race course, which hosts some of the richest prizes in the country and is second behind Ascot in terms of the most valuable race cards in British horse racing. The biggest week in Yorkshire racing is the Ebor festival which is held over four days in August. It includes the Ebor race which is one of the three group 1 races that York hosts each year, and the Ebor is one of the richest handicap races in Europe.

The rural area of the county is ideal for training racehorses and Mark Johnson works with his horses in Middleham, North Yorkshire. His stable has, for a number of years, been one of the most successful in the country, and he has won over 4000 races including both the 1000 and 2000 guineas.

The horse racing program is especially attractive in the summer months when the evening horse racing is held a bit later in the day, in order to entice the public. Many people take the opportunity after work has finished to go and attend one of these events.