Historic Harness Racing Art & Artifacts Exhibition
Where was the place to be seen in the mid-1800s? For a very large cross-section of society, it was at a harness racing meet.
Harness racing continues to draw crowds to racetracks around the country, but in the mid-1800s it was especially popular as both sporting and social event at large city racetracks and hundreds of quaint, small town fairs. This week, the Kentucky Horse Park?s International Museum of the Horse ? an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution ? opens a new exhibition to honor and commemorate a piece of that rich history.
?The History of Harness Racing by Currier and Ives and the Kentucky Connection,? produced by the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame, highlights the early history of the sport of harness racing through 66 rare Currier and Ives lithographic prints and a careful selection of important artifacts which will help complete the story of the sport from its mid-nineteenth century heyday up to today.
Also included in the exhibition are historic oil paintings (including a Troye), racing trophies, old sale catalogs, driving colors (jackets and caps), drawings and cartoons, shoes, weathervane, Maud S. High Wheel Sulky, speed wagon, old and current race bikes, tack trunks and statuettes. ?The History of Harness Racing by Currier and Ives and the Kentucky Connection,? will be on display in the museum from June 15-October 21.
Bill Cooke, director of the International Museum of the Horse stated, ?We are indebted to the National Racing Museum and Hall of Fame and its supporters, such as The CTW Foundation, Kentucky Standardbred horse farms and businesses, and friends of the sport of harness racing for loaning this wonderful collection to our museum. Part of this exhibition has toured the country, but when it came to the Kentucky Horse Park, numerous pieces were added specifically for this venue. Kentucky has such a tremendous record of breeding and racing outstanding Standardbreds, we are pleased to honor its rich history in this way.?
Due to the value of many of the pieces in this important exhibition, the highly-respected ?Art & Antiques? magazine highlighted it in an issue earlier this year.
For more information, contact the International Museum of the Horse at 859-259-4232 .