Winners of the 2000 Guineas1809 -2008
Winners of the 2000 Guineas, Palace House, Newmarket
The Winners of the 2000 Guineas, (run in Newmarket, UK, is one of the British Classic horse races) shows 200 years of winning owners racing colours. The colours are displayed in a template called ‘Stalls’; a basket like framework derived from the stall at the beginning of the race. Each square represents a jockey jacket. Sometimes it is divided to show the sleeves are different at each side. On other occasions the square is plain for a single colour racing jacket. The circle above represents a bird’s eye view of the racing cap. Begin reading the large combined print in the bottom left hand corner. The light blue with black seams are the racing colours of Mr C Wilson whose horse Wizard won the 1st 2000 Guineas race in 1809. Continue upwards, then right and down and so forth, in a snake like fashion.
This painting was designed with the intention of being a piece of modern art with a nod to heraldry. It depicts the history of great British horse race, by way of a formulaic recording of the results. A surprising outcome of visually displaying this information collectively, is not only an informative display of racing history and a piece of modern art, but it has revealed a social history too.
The first fifty years of winners from 1809-1858 immediately inform the viewer that the same owners were winning repeatedly, due to the same colours being displayed. They belong to the likes of The Duke of Grafton, Lord Exeter and Lord Jersey highlighting that the people racing were the British elite. Only plain and striped colours and one spots are alternatives, indicating it hadn't been necessary to develop to many alternative patterns for identification.
In the subsequent four hundred years of colours, we become aware of the multitude of patterns and colours that are being worn, informing us that horse racing has become popular and is available to more than just the landed gentry.
The final fifty years of racing silks contain designs and shades of colour that are more familiar and perhaps more comfortable for the viewer. This is because they are selected mostly from the constraints of the registry of British Racing colours that are current on the racecourses today.
Notably, the final twenty five years of the painting is strikingly blue. This informs the viewer of the current distribution of wealth and the development for international travel within the industry. Many of the winning owners are now the Arab elite.
Thus, the presentation of a visual archive of historical results has the capacity to inform on many different themes concurrently; should you not interested in the content, it is a striking piece of modern art.
Available to collect as eight framed or unframed groups of twenty-five years with or without a key in a variety of sizes, as shown below.