What Does the Term “Steeplechase” Mean and Where Did the Obstacle-Filled Horse Race Originate?

In early England, the church was the center of a town’s existence and was usually the largest and most prominent structure.

For travelers on horseback, the first sign of their destination was the lofty church steeple rising above the trees.

To the tired traveler, the sight was exhilarating and inspired the horsemen to quicken their paces, very often racing to see who could arrive at the steeple first.

From this, a horse race became known as a “steeplechase.”