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Objects

Horse-related objects

The National Museum of Australia's collection includes a wide range of material culture related to horses in Australia. This includes horse-drawn vehicles, paintings and photographs, blacksmithing tools, and trophies and ribbons awarded to champion horses, their owners, riders and trainers. Learn more about some of the highlights from our collection here. 

Collection highlights

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'.
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.
Junius Cup
Junius Cup
The oldest surviving Australian racing trophy.
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.
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's heart
The legendary racehorse’s unusually large heart.
Horsedrawn coach
Ranken Family coach
One of the oldest horse-drawn vehicles in Australia.
Sunshine harvester
Sunshine Harvester
A horse-drawn harvester, made at Sunshine, Victoria in 1911.

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.