PONY EX­PRESS NA­TIONAL MU­SEUM

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Lo­cated on the grounds of Spring­dale Race Course---home of the Carolina Cup---the Na­tional Steeple­chase Mu­seum is ded­i­cated to in­tro­duc­ing peo­ple to the jump races, through videos, mem­o­ra­bilia, tro­phies, pho­to­graphs and other in­ter­ac­tive ex­hibits. One ex­hibit pays trib­ute to Mar­ion duPont Scott, who deeded the 600 acres that is home to the mu­seum and the race course to the state of South Carolina. Scott owned Bat­tle­ship, the son of Man o’ War who won Eng­land’s Grand Na­tional in 1938. Out front stands a life-size bronze statue of Lone­some Glory, five-time win­ner of the Eclipse Award for Out­stand­ing Steeple­chase Horse.

The mu­seum sits near the train­ing grounds, and vis­i­tors can sit on the back ter­race to watch the horses. “Some peo­ple are dragged in here be­cause their kids ride,” says ex­ec­u­tive mu­seum di­rec­tor Cather­ine French, “and nine out of 10 leave ask­ing, ‘When’s the next race?’” For more in­for­ma­tion, go to www. steeplecha­se­mu­seum.org.

The Pony Ex­press Na­tional Mu­seum stands on the site of the orig­i­nal Pikes Peak Sta­bles, a 200-stall liv­ery, where on April 3, 1860, the first rider of the Pony Ex­press de­parted on the 2,000mile jour­ney to Sacra­mento, Cal­i­for­nia. To­day, the brick struc­ture (which dates to 1888) houses vin­tage stalls, a tack room and har­ness shop, plus many other dis­plays to ed­u­cate vis­i­tors about this unique mail ser­vice, which lasted for 19 months, un­til the first transcon­ti­nen­tal tele­graph was com­pleted.

Vis­i­tors can ex­am­ine a four-pocket mail­bag called a mochila, stamp their own en­velopes like those car­ried by the Ex­press, and visit a replica re­lay sta­tion, where rid­ers changed horses along the route. Most of the dis­plays are kid-friendly; younger vis­i­tors can ex­plore a pe­riod play kitchen and a dis­cov­ery area where they can dress in pe­riod clothes. “Noth­ing here says ‘Don’t touch,’ ex­cept the frag­ile horses that date back to 1880,” says di­rec­tor Cindy Daf­fron. “So even the wagon--they can go up a set of steps and look.” For more in­for­ma­tion, go to pony­ex­press.org. For more in­for­ma­tion, go to www. pro­rodeo­hallof­fame.com.

high­light the sport of show jump­ing.

“The show jump­ing fo­cus will fea­ture ar­ti­facts from the Show Jump­ing Hall of Fame,” says Lacey. The dis­play will in­clude a Her­mes sad­dle used by Bill Steinkraus and a jump used on course in the Los An­ge­les Olympics. The mu­seum is also adding more in­ter­ac­tive com­po­nents to teach peo­ple about show jump­ing. For more in­for­ma­tion, go to ushja.org/wheel­er­mu­seum.

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