While many businesses and other institutions have temporary closed due to COVID-19, some are offering online services, including museums. The Smithsonian, for example, is now offering a variety of online virtual exhibitions and museum tours—see link for more information.
Here at the Times, we would like to share photos of an exhibit that was once on view at the Smithsonian and has since been moved to the International Museum of the Horse (IMH) at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. These photos were taken by Times staff during a visit to the IMH in 2015.
Hanging Out at the IMH: The skeleton of Kentucky-bred champion racer and stallion Lexington was relocated to the IMH in 2010 from the Smithsonian in D.C., where he had been on view since Woodburn Farm’s A.J. Alexander donated the remains there in 1878.
Before the relocation, Lexington had been showcased in a Smithsonian exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History’s Osteology Hall, but in the early years (as reported in an 1880 museum visitor’s guide) he had been sharing space with a range of unlikely comrades—the Hadrosaurus Foulkti (dinosaur), a kangaroo lizard, a Himalayan tortoise, two ostriches and a llama—unfortunately no barn cats or goats to keep him company!
Winning Memorabilia: Housed in the same room of the IMH is a case displaying a trophy from the 1853 Citizen’s Stakes, a two-miler that took place at Lexington’s Kentucky Association Track and was won by a three-year-old named Darley.
Richard Ten Broeck, the proprietor of New Orleans’ Metairie Race Course, recognized Darley’s talent and immediately purchased the colt, whom has since been known to the world as the mighty Lexington.
Left photo: Darley’s Citizen’s Stakes trophy by Garner & Winchester Silversmiths, Lexington, KY, 1853, coin silver; on loan to the IMH from the Kentucky Historical Society.
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Editor, Turf History Times