Hi there, and welcome to part 2 of the Weiller & Williams Co. Ltd. blog series, “Horses”!
I have learned a lot more about horse breeding and racing than I will ever need to know.
Horses, like other animals require many things and much care and attention, especially racehorses. Before you can even name a racehorse, you have to be sure that no other racehorse already has that name. Lee would refer to a book, that listed all of the racehorse names in use, before choosing a name for his horses. Then he would make a list of second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth choices in the case his first choice for a name was already taken!
This is a file in the Weiller & Williams Co. Ltd. fonds that is a collection of lists of horse names! (MHM 2015.01.308, Musée Héritage Museum)
I think that one of my favourite things in this collection is the audio recording of a commentary from the Polo Park Handicap in 1949, where Lee’s horse, Air Cadet, wins! If you listen to it, it’s almost like you’re right there! It’s featured on the museum archives web page, so be sure to check that out.
I am allergic to horsehair, so when I was working with the artifacts from the collection, I took my antihistamines, and wore a mask just in case! The cotton gloves are standard for handling museum artifacts.
Do you breed and/or racehorses? What are their names? Why did you name them like that? I’d love to know!