Goodwood has always been inexorably linked with horses from its rich history and early associations with hunting to international dressage, horse trials and carriage driving championships, to the public horse races established in 1802 and the celebrated Glorious Raceweek. From 1 August to 26 September, Goodwood House
opens its doors to the public to showcase its beautiful art collection including The Horse, an exhibition of horse-related art from the Goodwood collection and work by British photographer, Tim Flach and leading British Sculptor, Nic Fiddian-Green.
The summer exhibition, curated by James Peill, includes paintings by Wootton and Stubbs and a picture of the first ever horse box which was used to secretly transport the racehorse Elis from Goodwood to Doncaster; arriving fresh after the journey, Elis won the 1836 St. Leger.
Selected photographs from Tim Flachs Equus series, which provide a unique insight into the physical dynamic and spirit of the horse, are fittingly displayed in the estates beautiful Stables. The product of five years of work, Flachs quest to document the horse has resulted in a highly original and searching look at an animal whose history is linked intensely to our own from the birth of mankind.
The third Duke of Richmond commissioned the celebrated architect, Sir William Chambers to design a magnificent stable block which is one of the grandest in the country. Visitors will also be able to tour the Stables which are still in use today for race meetings.
The exhibition at Goodwood House reflects and illustrate the ingrained relationship with the horse and associated sports. The first public race meeting at Goodwood was held in 1802 and racing has taken place up in the Downs ever since. The first Duke of Richmond originally came to Goodwood to enjoy the foxhunting with the Charlton Hunt, then the most fashionable hunt in the country. The second Duke commissioned the leading equestrian artist, John Wootton, to paint six of his favourite hunters with local landmarks in the background.
The third Duke was an early patron of George Stubbs, Englands greatest animal painter, and stayed at Goodwood for nine months in 1759 while he painted three sporting scenes: Racehorses Exercising; The Charlton Hunt; and Shooting at Goodwood. Each shows meticulously observed horses. In the twentieth century, Goodwood has hosted horse trials, carriage driving championships and for 21 years, international dressage.
Today, as Nic Fiddian-Greens monumental horses head, Artemis, looks out across the Goodwood estate from its new vantage point in the grounds of Goodwood House, we are reminded of how the horse has always dominated Goodwood.