The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame will be partnering with England’s Newmarket-based National Horseracing Museum for a social media content sharing program focused on the international legacy of racing icon Paul Mellon. Through a series of posts across various platforms, both institutions will share educational content about Mellon’s significant imprint on the sport in the United States and England. The first of 10 segments will debut on Friday, April 15. To follow the series, please visit the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame’s social media pages on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @NMRHOF, as well as the National Horse Racing Museum’s pages at @NHRMuseum across those same platforms. The series will include weekly posts each Friday and conclude on Mellon’s birthday, June 11.
The first segment will focus on Mellon’s racing silks and the different registered colors he campaigned his horses under in the United States and England. Both institutions have sets of silks that belonged to Mellon and were used in competition in each country. Future posts will include a variety of artwork, sculptures, trophies, and other items from the Mellon collection of each museum with content detailing the relevance of those items to the sport’s history. In addition to the social media programming, both museums will offer complimentary admission for visiting members to each other’s institutions, with the presentation of identification from their home institution.
“We are thrilled to begin sharing the first of what we hope are many collaborations with the National Horse Racing Museum in Newmarket,” said Cate Masterson, the director of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. “Thoroughbred racing is truly an international sport with many crossover connections. Paul Mellon was a remarkable and respected sportsman in both America and England and his collection of sporting art, trophies, and sculptures are historically significant and treasures of both museums. We think people will enjoy learning about these incredible pieces and the opportunity to get to know both museums a bit better in the process.”
“Our trustees and executives have been working hard to bring the two museums together in what we hope is the first of many link-ups across the world. The special relationship between America and England dates back many years and was summed up in the philanthropy of Paul Mellon in racing and sporting art,” said the Hon. Frances Stanley, chairman of the National Horseracing Museum trustees in Newmarket.
“Mellon’s passions remained a lifelong interest and were sown whilst studying at Cambridge University a mere 20 minutes from Newmarket. I feel honoured to be the chairman of the National Horseracing Museum (NHRM) at this pivotal moment.”
About Paul Mellon
One of the most esteemed sportsmen of the 20th century, Paul Mellon (1907 – 1999) was the only son of financier, industrialist, and Secretary of the Treasury Andrew W. Mellon. After graduating from Yale in 1929, Mellon studied in England at the University of Cambridge, where he developed a passion for horses. After working briefly for his father’s bank as a clerk, Mellon decided to join the U.S. Army. He served in the Office of Strategic Services in Europe with a cavalry division, earning four bronze stars and rising to the rank of Major.
In 1948, Mellon began racing under the banner of Rokeby Stables. His horses won more than 1,000 stakes races and had total earnings in excess of $30 million. Mellon achieved lasting success as both an owner and breeder. He was honored with the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Breeder in 1971 and 1986 and campaigned Hall of Fame members Arts and Letters and Fort Marcy. Other Rokeby standouts included Kentucky Derby and Travers winner Sea Hero and Belmont winner Quadrangle, as well as champions Key to the Mint and Run the Gantlet.
Along with his success in America, Mellon had a prominent European division of horses, including champions Mill Reef, Glint of Gold, and Gold and Ivory. Virginia-bred Mill Reef won the Epsom Derby and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, among other Group 1 events. Mellon is the only individual to win the Kentucky Derby, Epsom Derby, and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Mellon was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a Pillar of the Turf in 2013. He was inducted into the English Jockey Club Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 1999. Mellon also served as vice chairman of The Jockey Club, director of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, and maintained key leadership and support roles with the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame and the National Steeplechase Association.
A noted philanthropist, Mellon donated many priceless works of his art collection to various museums, one of which, the Yale Center for Sporting Art, he also paid to have built. He donated and bequeathed millions of dollars to support equine research and thoroughbred aftercare programs. Melon received the Eclipse Award of Merit in 1993. He died in 1999 at the age of 91.
For more information about the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, including upcoming events, please visit www.racingmuseum.org or call (518) 584-0400.
Contact: Brien Bouyea
(518) 584-0400 ext. 133
Image available on request.