With its beginnings stretching far back into ancient times, horse racing has undoubtedly the most colourful history of all sports enjoyed in the UK today. If you love all things equine, there are few places more fascinating than the National Horse Racing Museum at Newmarket (NHRM) in Suffolk.

Home to the very first horse races in Britain in the 17th century, Newmarket was the birthplace of Thoroughbred horse racing and has remained at the centre of this wonderful sport ever since.

To celebrate this sport and pay homage to its incredible competitors, both human and equine, you’ll be sure to want to plan a visit as soon as possible.

To whet your appetite ahead of any trip, the team at Equesure has produced this quick guide to what you can expect from this fantastic heritage site.    

Remember, while we all love the glamour and drama of race day the most important aspect for all owners is the wellbeing of the horse.

Whether they’re a keen point-to-pointer or a champion on the flat, arranging the proper protection for your horse with horse insurance is the best way to assure this.


A grand day out

Based in King Charles II’s sporting palace and stables and spanning five acres in the heart of this horse-obsessed market town, a trip to the NHRM is made up of three must-see attractions.

There’s the museum itself, the Packard Galleries of British Sporting Art, and the flagship home of Retraining of Racehorses (RoR), where you can meet former racehorses and learn what they do when their racing careers come to an end.

A horse race with a tight pack of horse and jockeys

The National Horse Racing Museum

Situated in the Trainer’s House and King’s Yard galleries, the five galleries of the NHRM tell the in-depth story of horseracing from its earliest days to the global sporting phenomenon it has become today.

From the very earliest race documents to presentations showcasing some of the most memorable and inspiring moments in racing history, there’s plenty to see and do here. Be sure not to miss out on riding a winner on the NHRM’s famous Racehorse Simulator!

One of our personal highlights has to be the Maktoum Gallery of the Thoroughbred.

Through the latest interactive and audio-visual displays visitors are given an insight into the incredible physical attributes of these elite equine athletes and the secrets of the breed. You’ll certainly look at your equine friend in a whole new light after this visit.


Packard Galleries of British Sporting Art

The world-renowned Fred Packard Museum and Galleries of British Sporting Art are found in Charles II’s sporting palace. Here you can soak up some of the very best artworks devoted to the world of horse racing.

From George Stubbs and Sir Alfred Munnings to John Singer Sargent and John Wootton, there’s a huge range of images of rural pursuits for you to contemplate. Don’t miss Stubbs’s famous series of anatomical prints The Anatomy of the Horse that’s on display here.

And while there are plenty of traditional paintings, prints and sculptures, there’s also contemporary additions from artists such as Turner Prize winner Mark Wallinger, himself a racehorse owner and a devotee of the turf.

Significant loans have also come from the Tate Gallery collection and the Victoria & Albert Museum along with a number of private and public art collections.


Rothschild Yard

As a fitting showcase of the incredible work the RoR charity is doing for former racehorses, the Rothschild Yard has to be experienced.

Painstakingly returned to its stunning former glory, here you’ll be able to meet former racehorses and see how re-training has helped them achieve a satisfying and successful second career after leaving the track.

Behind-the-scenes tours led by the RoR team take place twice a day and give a fascinating insight into the work of RoR and these incredible creatures.

Head to the Peter O’Sullevan Arena for the Welfare of the Horse for daily demonstrations. And if you’re lucky you might even see their working forge in action and a farrier practising their ancient craft!

You may even feel inspired by the work of RoR to consider providing a new home and second chance for a former racehorse yourself. If you do then remember you’ll need horse insurance in place to take care of their particular needs. Call Equesure first to discuss cover for your former racer.

A stable with four horses poking their heads out of each door

The Tack Room

All the excitement will no doubt leave you feeling a bit peckish. There’s no more unique and enchanting setting to sit down and enjoy a spot of lunch than the Tack Room restaurant.

For those looking for something quick and delicious to eat, the bakery, serving a range of pastries, cakes, and drinks, is also a tasty option.


How to support the NHRM

As a charity, and an independent museum, any entrance ticket or product you purchase helps the NHRM care for its vast collections and site. As well as the income from these sources, you could also consider making a one-off donation or perhaps become a Friend of the NHRM.

Particularly during difficult economic times, charities like the NHRM rely on the public’s support in order to continue to tell the exciting stories of horse racing for future generations.


Horse insurance protection through Equesure

Whether your own horse is a happy hacker or a champion eventer you’ll want to give them the best chance at a fulfilling life. To do this, responsible owners always make sure they’re protected with horse insurance.

With over 60 years’ combined experience in the insurance market, our team of equine specialists are there to offer a bespoke insurance policy to help you, whatever your requirements.

Cover for veterinary fees comes in three options:

  • Option 1 – £4,500 per incident with unlimited claims in the year
  • Option 2 – £7,500 per incident with up to £15,000 in the year
  • Option 3 – £5,000 per incident with £2,500 top-up for life saving surgery

If you have more than five horses then multi-horse policies are also available.

Call our team to get insurance for your horse today.

Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.

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