George IV and his horses: a trot through All the King’s Horses in Brighton Museum

George IV was a keen and able horseman, who admired the beauty and power of horses. The stables he constructed on the Royal Pavilion Estate are remembered in All the King’s Horses, our new display in Brighton Museum.

The stables, created between 1803 and 1808, was one of most ambitious and largest buildings of its kind in England, with room for at least 44 horses, as well as accommodation for stable staff and an adjoining Riding House used for exercising and training. The Riding House later became the Corn Exchange, which is now part of the Brighton Dome complex.

Riding School of Royal Pavilion Estate, 1826

In addition to spending vast amounts of money on building and running stables, George owned one of the most famous racehorses of the time, Orville.This horse put George in an awkward position in 1805 when he won the Brighton Cup, a magnificent silver cup awarded to the winner of the Brighton Races. As George had personally commissioned the cup and did not wish to award it to himself, he presented it to Chris Wilson, who had sold him Orville a few months earlier.

The cup, along with a letter from George to Wilson written at the Pavilion, can be seen in the display.

You can learn more about the display and watch an interview with curator Alexandra Loske in this film by Latest TV.

 

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