National Horse Racing Museum in Newmarket
Horse racing has been a part of Newmarket for centuries, with the Newmarket Racecourse hosting racing events since 1671. With so much horse racing history to share, there is no better way to discover the heritage of the racing industry and explore is journey from the past till present day, than at the National Horse Racing Museum in Newmarket. What makes this museum stand out above any other horse racing museum is the fact that there are retired jockeys and trainers working at the National Horse Racing Museum and they are able to answer questions descriptively and add in a few personal stories.
The exhibits inside the museum can only be described as breathtaking. A display on Fred Archer depicts the jockey’s life and career, and also has the pistol that he took his own life with in the exhibit. Other jockeys, such as Frank Dettori and Lester Piggott, are also in the collection, as well as a range of silks worn by the legends. Spectacular paintings by James Lynwood-Palmer bring horses such as Meld, Sun Chariot, Oh So Sharp, Gainsborough, Nijinsky and Bahram to life, and the skeleton of Eclipse allows racing enthusiasts to literally stand next to one of the racing greats.
The National Horse Racing Museum also looks at some of the industry’s scandals and fascinating characters that brought color to horse racing. “Prince Monolul” was a well known tipster in the 1950’s and some of his signature vibrantly colored jackets are on display at the museum. Other exhibits include racing tack and saddles used, as well as some noteworthy trophies and various other racing memorabilia. Once visitors feel that they have gained enough racing knowledge, they are invited to try on some silks, weigh in and test their skills on the racehorse simulator.
As there are many working horse racing stables and farms located in Newmarket, tours can be booked through the museum to attend training sessions, explore the daily routines of stable yards, meet some of the upcoming equine champions and spend a day at the races with special passes. Some of the tours include Newmarket Racecourse, Luca Cumani’s Bedford House Stables, Sir Micheal Stoute’s Freemason Yard, the National Stud, Tattersalls Park Paddocks, Dalham Hall Stud and the Fred Archer Tour. For anyone with a passion for horse racing, the National Horse Racing Museum gives visitors the opportunity to discover all the various sectors within the industry, with jockeys or trainers at their side.