Orange County, NY, is the birthplace of Standardbred harness horse racing in the United States. Hambletonian 10, the ancestor of all American Standardbred horses, was born here. Many of this stallion’s early races were held right here in Goshen at the historic Good Time Park track. Today, this area’s rich history of harness racing is commemorated at the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame in Goshen. If you’re a fan of harness racing and in this area, you should not miss the opportunity to visit this museum and hall of fame. Some aspects of the Harness Racing Museum that our Goshen workers compensation lawyers enjoy include:
Horse-Drawn: The Sleighs of Currier & Ives
In this exhibition, the Harness Racing Museum’s world-class display of Currier & Ives equine lithographs is on display. Currier & Ives was a printing firm which captured the magic of horse-drawn sleighs, which were a popular form of winter travel up until the early 20th century. They were used for many purposes, including hauling supplies and festive sleighing carnivals.This series of lithographs are detailed, colorful portraits of this bygone era of American history. Other themes explored through this art include winter fashions of the time period and the social and cultural importance of horses during that period of American history.
Bev and Grace Lopez: Sculpting the Horse
Bev Lopez was an artist who painted and sculpted horses for over five decades. He honed his craft by studying with revered sculptors James Earl Fraser and Berthold Nebel and famed muralist Barry Faulkner. Lopez grew up around horses, as his grandfather bred them. Thus, Bev rode and owned horses from a young age. His mother, Grace Watt Lopez, was a talented sculptor as well, and these two family members had a strong influence on Bev’s artistic development.
In 1952, Lopez was commissioned to create the first in a series of several statuettes commemorating harness racing’s great horses, owners, drivers, and benefactors.In this current exhibition, the Harness Racing Museum showcases a series of these impressive works.
Seven Views of Dexter
Dexter was a son of Hambletonian 10, the original Standardbred horse. He was foaled in Orange County, New York in 1858 and sold at four years old for $400. Dexter would soon live up to his lineage by becoming one of the winningest horses in history over the next three years. In 1867, he set the mile record at just 2:17 1/4.
Soon after, Robert Bonner, the owner of the New York Ledger, purchased the horse for $35,000 and retired Dexter to become his personal road horse. Dexter would become something of a folk hero in his retirement, even becoming associated with President Ulysses S. Grant.
This folk hero status is reflected in the amount of art depicting Dexter’s likeness, which spanned dozens of artists and mediums. In a celebration of the 150th anniversary of Dexter’s record-breaking mile time, the Harness Museum is currently displaying a selection of this artwork.