New exhibits aim to educate on often overlooked part of horse racing history

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Two new exhibits in Lexington are celebrating and educating people on a part of the history of horse racing that is often overlooked.

Two new exhibits in Lexington are celebrating and educating people on a part of the history of horse racing that is often overlooked. (WKYT)

Lexington city leaders and members of the African-American Jockey Project Committee introduced two new exhibits that tell the history of African-American jockeys in the commonwealth.

Leon Nichols works with the Project to Preserve African American Turf History.

"It's a beautiful story when you really dig deep and start to unearth some of the names and faces and people who, again, helped bring our industry to global prominence if you will," Nichols said.

"The Colors of Silk" exhibit was unveiled on the third floor of Central Library. The exhibit tells the story of jockeys sometimes seen as an overlooked part of the commonwealth's equestrian history.

"It's the foundation of the history, of the industry I should say. In terms of whatever we do today, whether it's the Kentucky Derby or horse racing at Keenland, these men were very responsible for bringing the industry into national prominence," Nichols said.

Later this year, 15 plaques will go up on the Legacy Trail commemorating African-American jockeys.

"It proves that when we work together we're at our best and everyone's history should be a part of the national narrative," said Nichols.

The exhibit opens Monday and will stay open until April 3.