We're open every day over Easter, except Good Friday, 30 March. Opening hours and services will change on Easter Monday, 2 April. Find our Easter opening hours here.
Horses birthday … 1st of August
Melbourne Cup winners : [collection of cigarettes cards]. Godfrey Phillips, 1906
Happy birthday to all the horses in the southern hemisphere …
August the 1st is the date which is based on the breeding season of horses, the weather is starting to warm up and the days are longer and the mares ‘come into season’.
In the northern hemisphere horses celebrate their birthday on January 1.
Popular horses and horse racing are featured on the above cigarette cards. These in particular are of winners of the Melbourne Cup Archer in 1861 and Blue Spec in 1905. These images are from a series of cigarette cards which featured winners of the Melbourne Cup from its beginnings in 1861 until 1905.
The first horses to come to Australia arrived in 1788 with the First Fleet. They were used for farm and utility work as racing did not become popular until around 1810.
The above cigarette card collections are held in the Rare books and special collections at the State Library of New South Wales, Sydney.