The Breeder’s Cup World Championships~
Started In: 1984 – Dates for 2014: October 31st – November 1st, 2014
Location: Santa Anita Park (Changes Every Year)
The event was created as a year-end championship for North American Thoroughbred racing, and also attracts top horses from other parts of the world, especially Europe. The idea for the Breeders’ Cup was proposed at the 1982 awards luncheon for the Kentucky Derby Festival by John R. Gaines, a leading Thoroughbred owner and breeder who wanted to clean up the sport’s image. Before the Breeders’ Cup expanded to two days, it was generally considered to be the richest day in sports. As of 2008, the second day of the Breeders’ Cup is the second-richest. In 2008, a total of $17 million was awarded on that day, down from $20 million in 2007 (two races were moved from Day 2 to Day 1). The richest single day in sports is now another Thoroughbred racing event, Dubai World Cup Night. It features six races with a combined purse of $21 million in 2008.
Since the Breeder’s Cup is held at a different track every year, there are not many traditions the that accompany it beyond having the best quality horse racing of the year. There are only two things that are always constant from track to track: the trophy and the flower blankets for the winners.
The Torrie Horse Trophy~
The Breeders’ Cup awards the exact same trophy every year, and the original statue is brought from track to track that hosts the races. The design was created in the late 1950s and is a replica of Giovanni da Bologna’s sculpture of the Torrie horse that was created in Florence by Giovanni da Bologna in the late 1580s.
The Horses its original purpose is unknown, though it may have been made as a study for the equestrian statue of Duke Cosimo I of Florence, cast in 1591. It reveals the influence and example of Leonardo da Vinci. The most recent monumental equestrian sculpture in Florence, before that of Duke Cosimo I, had been da Vinci’s never-completed monument to Giangiacomo Trivulzio. The Torrie horse bears a close relationship to several drawings by da Vinci related to this project in the collection of Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor. Other artists, too, knew and learned from da Vinci’s study of the horse, but none came so close as Giovanni da Bologna to his vision of the beauty of the animal celebrated by art and science together. The original ecorche bronze horse of Giovanni da Bologna is in the Museum of Fine Arts at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. The Edinburgh horse was acquired by Sir James Erskine of Torrie from the Villa Mattei in Rome, probably in 1803. He bequeathed it to the University of Edinburgh with the rest of his collection of old master paintings and bronzes, and it came into the possession of the University in 1836.
The Breeders’ Cup Trophy was cast from the original and was directly supervised and approved by the University of Edinburgh for the exclusive use of Breeders’ Cup Limited. The largest version of the trophy is permanently owned by the Breeders’ Cup, and will be displayed at Santa Anita Park this year. Fifteen replicas are presented to the connections of the winners of each of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships races every year.
Each year, the original trophy is displayed in a central location at the host track for spectators to view. At Santa Anita Park , it is typically displayed by the fountain at the entrance of the main grandstand.
Something that makes this tradition unique is that even though the original trophy is there at the track, the winners are not presented with it. Instead, they are provided a smaller replica made out of bronze. Starting in 2012, the winning trainers, breeders and jockeys also received a Lalique (http://www.lalique.com/en_US) crystal replica of the trophy (shown above).
Hope you all enjoyed today’s post and have learned something new about the Breeder’s Cup Trophy! I bet Giovanni da Bologna never that that all these years later, a replica of his statue would be the trophy for such a prestigious race!!
See you all Tuesday!! Hope you get a chance to see the race tomorrow:)) And btw, Happy Holloween!!
Huh? What? Well, I will believe that when I see flying Shetlands !
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