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Objects

Feature objects

Explore the National Museum of Australia's collection of historical artefacts related to horses and horsemen and women in Australia. This includes horsedrawn vehicles, paintings and photographs, clothing and tools, and trophies and ribbons awarded to champion horses, their owners, riders and trainers.

Ted Fogarty's saddle
'Barcoo' poley saddle
Modified saddle used by Ted Fogarty for bronco-branding in the Northern Territory.
'Trotters at Randwick', by Frank P Mahony, 1887
'Trotters at Randwick'
An 1887 ink and wash painting by architect turned artist Frank P Mahony.
Part of the 1866 Melbourne Cup.
1866 Melbourne Cup
The earliest known Melbourne Cup in its original state.
Two ornate horse racing trophies
1867 Melbourne Cup
Two trophies, won by one horse in a single year.
David Allen agricultural medals
Agricultural medals
A collection with winners including hog-skin saddle makers and a mare named 'Mincemeat'.
Australian Light Horse uniform
Australian Light Horse uniform
Owned by a farrier who served with the 9th Light Horse Regiment in Egypt and Palestine.
Show society prize medal presented to Mr W Harris for best coaching stallion.
Best coaching stallion medal
Show society prize presented to Mr W Harris for best coaching stallion.
Binoculars
Boer War riding kit
Used by Lieutenant Colonel Watchorn in southern Africa, about 1901.
Lantern slide showing a drawing of bushrangers attacking the Eugowra gold escort.
Bushrangers lantern slide
Showing bushrangers attacking the Eugowra gold escort, early 20th century.
Can of ‘Horsielicious:
Can of 'Horsielicious'
Part of a protest against the racing industry’s treatment of retired racehorses.
Packaging for ‘Mortadella Di Cavallo’, Mondo’s specialty butcher, 2014.
Cavallo (horsemeat) labels
Packaging from one of the few Australian butchers licensed to sell horsemeat.
Detail from a handwritten ledger
Cobb and Co. ledger
Recording the accounts of the Tamworth Cobb & Co office in the 1870s.
Photograph by Robert Cowey of his family at work on their farm at Weardale, Victoria, about 1910.
Cowey family photographs
Life, work and leisure on a farm in Victoria in the early 1900s.

Double Abbott-style buggy
Popular form of private transport, used around Boorowa, NSW, from the 1870s.
Emilie Roach and Dungog
Emilie Roach equestrian collection
Prized possessions belonging to a champion horsewoman and show-ring jumper.
Lincoln Park Dairy horsedrawn cart
Essendon milk cart
A horsedrawn cart used by Lincoln Park Dairy to deliver milk in Melbourne from the 1940s to 1987.
Detail of an embroidered rooster sewn into a square of a quilt
Farm Life quilt
Horses and other animals on a 1930s South Australian farm, drawn with a needle and thread on a school-girls’ quilt.
George Hamilton horse welfare collection
George Hamilton horse welfare collection
A beautifully illustrated mid-19th century publications argue for better conditions for horses.
Chaffcutter
Harrison McGregor & Co chaffcutter
Harrison McGregor & Co model used to turn hay into chaff.
Hitching post
Hitching post
Once commonplace in Australian streets, these posts were used to secure horses.
A packsaddle.
Homemade packsaddle
Used by brumby runner Charles Carter in the Snowy Mountains from the 1930s.
Inscribed pocket watch
Inscribed pocket watch
Presented to Major Dalton of the NSW Cavalry as a wedding gift in 1891.
John McDouall Stuart's watch
John McDouall Stuart's watch
Presented to explorer John McDouall Stuart in 1859.
Junius Cup
Junius Cup
The oldest surviving Australian racing trophy.
Velvet lined dressing case holding two hair brushes, two clothes brushes, a comb and a mirror, 1928.
Ladies' grooming set
A case with horsehair brushes, presented as a gift from aviators Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm.
Mary Wilsallen’s sulky
Mary Wilsallen's sulky
A pony-sized brass Sydney sulky from about 1940, belonging to champion horsewoman and breeder Mary Willsallen.
Embossed tin sign advertising McCormick agricultural machinery available through McLean Brothers & Rigg Ltd, Adelaide, around 1920.
McCormick advertising sign
Tin sign promoting horsedrawn farm equipment.
Detail of the inscription ‘Rainbow died November 13th 1913’ on a silver inkwell set into a horse’s hoof.
Memento of 'Rainbow'
An inscribed silver inkwell set into a horse’s hoof.
A side-saddle.
Miss Faithfull's side-saddle
Used by Constance Faithfull on the prosperous Springfield sheep station in the 1890s.
A model sulky
Model sulky
Made by apprentice coachbuilder Archibald William Hayes in 1908.
A light grey FJ Holden car from the 1950s
Molly Goodall FJ Holden
One woman's first car, garaged under a horse blanket after a lifetime of horsedrawn travel.
wcastle bakery cart
Newcastle bakery cart
One of a fleet of horsedrawn vehicles used by the Newcastle & Suburban Co-operative Society from the 1940s.
Detail of wooden coach from the 1880s
Nowland's mail coach
A thoroughbrace mail coach that carried passengers across the Liverpool Plains in New South Wales until the 1920s.
An 18ct gold, three-handled cup style trophy
Peter Pan's Melbourne Cup
Won by Peter Pan, one of the few racehorses to have earned the Melbourne Cup twice.
Detail of two people looking at Phar Lap's heart on display at the National Museum
Phar Lap collection
The legendary racehorse’s unusually large heart.
Portrait of Jorrocks
Portrait of Jorrocks
An amateur portrait of Australia's first celebrity racehorse from the 1840s.
Quail's saddlery collection
Quail's saddlery collection
Furniture, tools and leatherwork from a saddlery run by three generations of the Quail family in Cooma.
Horsedrawn coach
Ranken Family coach
One of the oldest horse-drawn vehicles in Australia.
Philip Wirth’s crop, made from an umbrella stick.
Ringmaster Phillip Wirth's crop
Fashioned from a wooden umbrella handle, and owned by the famed circus ringmaster.
Wooden printing block for ‘Bourke Street West in the forenoon’ by ST Gill.
ST Gill printing block
Used to print Gill’s evocative drawing of buck jumping in central Melbourne.
This scrimshaw powder horn shows a scene of kangaroo coursing, or hunting.
Scrimshaw powder horn
An 1836 horn engraving depicting kangaroo hunting.
A framed poster for Solomon Solution
Solomon Solution poster
1920s advertisement for a popular liniment.
Akubra hat worn by Bruce Breaden.
Stockman's Akubra hat
Worn by Aboriginal stockman Bruce Breadon in the 1990s.
Sunshine harvester
Sunshine Harvester
A horse-drawn harvester, made at Sunshine, Victoria in 1911.
Sydney Royal Easter Show medallion Won by show-ring jumping team Emilie Roach and ‘Dungog’. Photo: Sam Birch.
Sydney Royal Easter Show medallion
Won by show-ring jumping team Emilie Roach and ‘Dungog’.
A tabletop wagon
Tabletop wagon
Used to haul wool and wheat around Cooma, NSW.
The Australian Sketchbook
The Australian Sketchbook
Popular sketches of life in the 1860s by artist Samuel Thomas Gill.
Tom Quilty Gold Cup
Tom Quilty Gold Cup
Trophy won by Brook Sample on his seventh victory in the long-distance endurance ride.
A toy horse
Toy horse 'Jackson'
A runner in the 2007 Birsdsville ‘races’.
Wooden rocking horse with elliptical wheels.
Toy rocking horse
Andrew Gibson’s first steed, from the 1920s.
Wire horse hobbles
Wire horse hobbles
Found at the site of Tommy Ah Toy’s market garden.

Collection interactive

Flemington on Cup Day

A screenshot of an interactive

Explore the workings and wonders of Flemington, Australia's largest racecourse, on Melbourne Cup Day. See how fashions have changed over the years, hear about broadcasting from veteran race caller Greg Miles, see a parade of champion horses and check out some of the objects on show in our Landmarks gallery.

Launch the Flemington on Cup Day interactive

Read more about Flemington in Landmarks


People and the Environment

Horses in Australia is part of the National Museum's People and the Environment program. Discover more stories about people's relationships with Australia's natural and built environments on our People and the Environment website.