29th November 2006
Visitation Soars – Australian Racing Museum
The relocation of the Australian Racing Museum to Federation Square in Melbourne has seen visitation soar to over 100,000 visitors annually.
An overwhelming visitor response after opening is now beginning to plateau but the industry’s investment in Champions has exposed the history, culture and excitement of thoroughbred racing to a vastly larger and diverse audience.
While the importance of the museum’s first home at Caulfield Racecourse can not be underestimated however, since the move to Federation Square annual visitation is over 15 times higher than it was at the original location. Importantly for the future of thoroughbred racing, the Visitor Comments Book reveals that for many, their visit to the museum was a first taste of racing.
This Visitors’ Book entry is typical of many and sums up the importance of the Champions experience, “I fell in love with the sport (horse racing) after this!! Fantastic! (Sydney).”
The museums public programs link racing with a wide variety of community activities and increases awareness of the importance of racing, especially in ‘non-racing’ circles.
Guest speakers share their stories with an assortment of community and racing groups in a popular public program feature, Tuesdays@Champions. Hosted by prominent race caller Bryan Martin, the subjects of his “on the couch” interviews have included David Hayes, Phillip Campbell, Ron Hutchinson, Team Karasi and jockey of the Spring Racing Carnival, Craig Williams.
The Australian Racing Museum has broad based public programs with events ranging from millinery and rose pruning workshops to stud farm tours, farriery demonstrations and the popular Miller’s Guide trivia night.