Discover how the Cavendish-Bentinck family at Welbeck helped develop horse racing to become the sport we know today, accompanied by works by leading equestrian painters.

The 4th Duke of Portland (1768-1854), was a devoted follower of horseracing and builder of ‘The Portland Stand’ at Newmarket. Lord George Bentinck (1802 – 1848) the 4th Duke’s younger son, followed in his father’s footsteps and was instrumental in developing horse racing.

Lord George earned the unofficial title of Lord Paramount of the Turf at Newmarket, and started many reforms including the use of a starting flag. He worked to eliminate fraud following the ‘Dirty Derby’ of 1844, and invented the horse box to move his horses to races, without tiring them with a long ride to the venue.

This exhibition will give an insight into Lord George’s horsemanship, with one of the wheels from his original horse box, and his racing prizes on display. The 6th Duke of Portland’s racing colours and prizes are also to be shown. The 6th Duke’s horses, Donovan, Memoir, Ayrshire and Semolina, were champions – in one season their prizes totalled £96,000, the equivalent of over 5 million pounds today, which paid for the ornate almshouses on the Welbeck Estate, named ‘The Winnings’.

Among the exhibits will also be the rocking horse ‘Donovan’, belonging to the 6th Duke’s grandaughter, Lady Anne Bentinck (1916-2008) and named after her grandfather’s favourite horse. Lady Anne was a dedicated horsewoman who still rode at 90 years of age.