horses

Finding Vintage Horse Racing Art

Whether you are a dedicated horse aficionado or just someone who has read Seabiscuit, horse racing art can be a great accent to home d├ęcor, or even the theme to a whole room. For as long as there have been horse races in the United States there have been people commemorating these events. From classically-trained painters executing studies of each horse to the local betting parlor's highball glass, horse racing art has always been popular.

And, as with many things, vintage is both chic and affordable. And it fills every niche from elegant to kitsch. However, in order to find entire antique stores dedicated to horse racing art, you have got to go on site.

Saratoga Springs, New York

Maybe only locals and true racing fans know this offhand, but Saratoga Springs has hosted thoroughbred horse races since the 1860s. This town in upstate New York is an elegant little tourist destination, both for the racing and for the namesake springs. Downtown Saratoga Springs is a nice stroll for the tourist, with quaint restaurants, decorating stores, and not a few antique shops.

And the shop owners know the tourists, having just seen a race or learned about the town, are out for horse racing art. High street shops have oil paintings and silver trophies. Turn a block off for more affordable prices and a fun range of merchandise. Anything you can imagine they have, plates, glasses, pictures, scrapbooks, and more.

Lexington, Kentucky

The whole city of Lexington, and to some extent, all of Kentucky is homage to the horse race. On any country road, town square, or city street, you cannot avoid the horse racing art. Antique and collectible stores anywhere in Lexington will have merchandise attached to horse racing's biggest annual event: the Kentucky Derby. There have been 132 runnings of the Derby, all of which necessitated souvenir glasses, programs, pictures, and framed tickets.

The most iconic item associated with the Kentucky Derby is a plain silver mint julep glass. Search fancier shops for sterling, but other shops will have silver plate, pewter, and other materials. The organizers of the Kenutcky Derby also annually commission art celebrating their horse race. Framed posters, limited edition lithographs, paintings, and commemorative ticket stubs are made in rather small numbers to try and keep their value high. For good deals, negotiate at antique shops, or search online for competitive deals.