Archival Jockey Silks

I have a deep fondness for jockey silks. Unlike most sporting garb, the basic jockey’s uniform of jodphurs, cap and tunic has remained unchanged over time. Designed for legibility from a distance, the visual code of stripes, dots, hoops, sashes, crosses, chevrons and bold colors has a functional beauty that appeals to me in any media – from cigarette cards to a high definition broadcast of a triple crown race. If you squint, a snapshot of horses in the homestretch today doesn’t look that different than an image from the past. What has changed, of course, is the addition of advertising on the trousers and the use of more closely fitting, synthetic fabrics. In honor of the upcoming Belmont Stakes I’m reprinting these cigarette cards featuring ad free British horse racing colors from the 1930s.

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