In which country was the first professional greyhound racing track?
Greyhound racing is an organized, competitive sport in which greyhounds are raced around a track. There are two forms of greyhound racing, track racing (normally around an oval track) and coursing. Track racing uses an artificial lure (now based on a windsock) that travels ahead of the dogs on a rail until the greyhounds cross the finish line. As with horse racing, greyhound races often allow the public to bet on the outcome.
Modern greyhound racing has its origins in coursing. The first recorded attempt at racing greyhounds on a straight track was made beside the Welsh Harp reservoir, Hendon, England, in 1876, but this experiment did not develop. The industry emerged in its recognizable modern form, featuring circular or oval tracks, with the invention of the mechanical or artificial hare, in 1912, by an American, Owen Patrick Smith. O.P. Smith had altruistic aims for the industry to stop the killing of the jack rabbits and see "greyhound racing as we see horse racing". In 1919, Smith opened the first professional dog-racing track with stands in Emeryville, California. The certificates system led the way to parimutuel betting, as quarry and on-course gambling, in the United States during the 1930s.