Exhibition opens at the Harley

A NEW exhibition, charting the history of horse racing, has opened at the Harley Gallery at Welbeck.

Runners and Riders: The Rise of Modern Horse Racing features a host of objects and paintings which tell the story of how the Cavendish-Bentinck family at Welbeck helped change the face of horse racing as it became the modern sport we know today.

The 6th Duke of Portland won the 2000 Guineas race in 1888 with one of his most successful horses, Ayrshire.

In one season alone Ayrshire, along with his other horses Memoir, Donovan and Semolina, won more than £93,000 (£8m in today’s money).

Ayrshire’s hoof is on show in the exhibition, along with other curious objects and artefacts such as a wheel from the first ever horse box.

The horse box was invented by Welbeck’s own Lord George Bentinck after he realised that the horses would race better if they were transported to the race.

This helped his horse Elis to win the 1836 St Leger at Doncaster.

Exhibition curator Patricia Connor will be giving a talk at the gallery on 19th May at 2pm when you will be able to find out more about horseracing, skulduggery, victory, loss and philanthropy.

l Tickets for the talk are £10 (£8 for concessions) and booking is essential. For more details call (01909) 501 700 or visit www.harleygallery.co.uk. The gallery is free to enter.