Champions Australian Racing Museum
As horse racing is such a huge part of the culture in Australia, visitors to the country are encouraged to visit the Champions Australian Racing Museum in Melbourne. The museum, which is also home to the Racing Hall of Fame, settled into their new premises in the National Sports Museum in October 2010, and the displays available for viewing are nothing short of breathtaking. Here, the history and world of horse racing in Australia can be explored through documents, items and memorabilia of some of the country’s racing greats.
When the Hall of Fame was opened in 2001, there were only five horses inducted, namely Kingston Town, Phar Lap, Bernborough, Tulloch and Carbine. Human inductees included George Moore, Tommy Smith, Bart Cummings and Bill Collins. The list of horses now stands at over thirty inductees, and in 2007, the magnificent Phar Lap became the first inductee to be given Legend status. Being inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame is a great honor to everyone in the horse racing industry, and there are four categories to be inducted into, namely Horses, Trainers, Associates and Jockeys.
Over and above viewing the list of Hall of Famers, the exhibits at the Champions Australian Racing Museum include a wide variety of items that detail the history of horse racing including Carbine’s skeleton (Melbourne Cup 1890 winner), Tulloch’s heart, 1861 racing spurs, the evolution of track side fashions from the 1890s until now, Phar Lap’s bridle and racing plate, Phar Laps’s racing colors worn by his jockeys, a 1950’s horse racing picnic set, jockey scales, a totalisator board from the 1960s, Reckless’ 1977 Sydney Cup, Brisbane and Adelaide Cups and betting tickets from the nineteenth century.
The Champions Australian Racing Museum makes use of multi-media displays and state of the art equipment to provide interactive exhibits, making the experience at the museum one of excitement and enjoyment. Their massive collections are witness to their dedication to not only bring horse racing awareness to the public, but also to serve as an educational tool. School programs, such as Thoroughbred Ed in School, sees the 1992 Melbourne Cup Champion, Subzero, or Subbie as he is affectionately referred to, visiting schools and allowing children to touch and interact with this magnificent horse. There is also a Resource Centre that has a large library which includes racing results from 1978, Australian Turf Registers from 1870, news articles, books, racing books and 1866 to 1941 The Australasian publications.