Located on the high street in the centre of the town known as racing's "HQ", the Jockey Club Rooms have literally been at the heart of British horseracing for over 250 years.
The Jockey Club's influence and involvement in British racing spans four centuries, during which time the sport has generated more than its fair share of moments of drama and controversy. However, the Rooms, set back from an invariably busy Newmarket High Street, have always retained a degree of mystique and reverence.
This book represents the first time that the contents and history of the Jockey Club's collection of art and artifacts has been collated and published. The publication includes magnificent reproductions of some of the finest examples of sporting art in this country, and thanks to David Oldrey's accompanying text it also makes intriguing reading. Whether one's interest stems from the turf or the art world, the background to the pictures and details of the horses and characters involved both fascinate and educate.
The author's expertise in racing history and sporting art has led to him acting as a consultant for the auction house Christie's and they are responsible for the production of this book; the photography, design and lay out of which has succeeded in showing off the contents of the Rooms to their very best.
The Jockey Club Rooms and its remarkable collection are a part of racing's heritage, but the building is not a museum; indeed it continues to play an active role in the day to day business of the Jockey Club. Not only do the Rooms still host meetings of the Club and Stewards, they also cater for the 600 plus Members of the Rooms, as well as hosting a broad range of events for public and corporate guests.
Anyone with an interest in racing history or sporting art will find The Jockey Club Rooms, A Catalogue and History of the Collection, a very rewarding book. It provides a rare insight into a building steeped in racing history, coupled with an authoritative text on the artists and their subjects, including some of greatest racehorses and several larger than life characters, many of which were integral to the history and development of racing and the Jockey Club.
October 2006 Notes for Editors:
1. The author, David Oldrey is successful racehorse owner and breeder for over forty years. Elected a Member of the Jockey Club in 1984, he provided twenty years of service to the sport of horseracing and the thoroughbred breeding industry, serving as a Steward of the Jockey Club for 12 years. His combined knowledge of racing history and sporting art is second to none.
2. The book features around 250 paintings and artifacts from the Jockey Club's collection, featuring significant works by many of the key figures in British sporting art, including George Stubbs, J F Herring Snr, John Ferneley, J N Sartorius, Emil Adam and Sir Alfred Munnings.
3. The Jockey Club re-invests all profits generated by its commercial activities back into the sport of horseracing.