Horses races were once the most popular sporting event in North Carolina. Racing was so popular the legislature passed a law in 1764 curtailing gambling with two exceptions: backgammon and horse racing. In the early 19th-century, breeders considered Northampton, Halifax, and Warren Counties the race horse region of America. Horses like Sir Archie and Henry were known all over the country. By the 1850s, competition and breeding had moved on to today's racing hotbeds in Kentucky, Maryland, and New York. The Civil War further crippled racing in North Carolina, and in 1942, the North Carolina General Assembly made it illegal.