At the Races in the Countryside by Edgar Degas. Horse racing, a sport of English origin, became popular on the Continent at the end of the eighteenth century, and soon inspired such painters as Carle Vernet and Théodore Géricault, who were both influenced by English artists. It attracted the interest of later painters, too. Manet emphasized the elegance of these occasions, while Degas preferred to observe the horses in motion. He focused on the movements of man and animal.