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What is the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame?

Added on: Nov. 15, 2016

The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame established way back in 1950 in Saratoga Springs, New York, and it is committed to honouring the achievements of American thoroughbred race horses, plus it is also committed to honouring the achievements of the trainers and the jockeys. Just five years later, in 1955, the museum relocated to where it remains today, on Union Avenue near Saratoga race course, and it was at this location where the inductions into the hall of fame first started.

When the necessary data has all been properly processed, which is usually around spring time in the US, the final votes are counted and the new inductees into the Hall of Fame are usually announced. This tends to coincide with the Kentucky Derby which takes place every year towards the beginning of May, although the actual inductions generally take place during the Saratoga race meeting which is held in later on in the year, in mid-August.

The Nominating Committee tends to be made up of no less than 12 members and each member is appointed annually by the Museum President. The main aim of this committee is to prepare a ballot that consists of as many as 10 eligible candidates for the Voting Panel. The members of the Voting Panel that decide on who gets to enter the Hall of Fame consists of active or former racing historians, as well as broadcasters, editors, writers and commentators of thoroughbred racing and new panellists are invited to take part in the process every year.

Both voters and the public are permitted to submit candidates for consideration by the Nominating Committee. Thoroughbred horses can only become eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame when at least five calendar years have passed since their final racing year and their nomination year and then they will remain eligible for anywhere from 5 to 25 calendar years following their final racing year. However, the Historic Review Committee can also induct a thoroughbred if it has been retired for more than 25 calendar years.

Jockeys become eligible for cementing their place in history books after 25 years as a licensed thoroughbred jockey and they can remain eligible for the following 25 years after the end of their career. After that it’s down to the Historic Review Committee again. Similar consideration also applies to the jockeys and for more information about eligibility, nomination and election process, head over to the official National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame website.