Belair Stable Museum
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Belair Stable is a historical museum situated on the Belair Mansion and Estate in Bowie, Maryland, the city known for its rich and diverse cultural heritage. It was the home of two Triple Crown winners, Gallant Fox and Omaha, and to Nashua, which won the title Horse of the Year in 1955.
Today, the stable is a repository that reflects the estate's 250-year-old legacy for horse lovers and history enthusiasts. The mansion and the stable were donated to the City of Bowie by the developers in 1964.
Belair Stable is a part of Belair Stud, an American thoroughbred horse racing stable and breeding farm, situated in the estate. The stable was built by Provincial Governor Samuel Ogle in the 18th century. Until the end of the 19th century, it remained the property of Ogle family.
The stable served as the birthplace of thoroughbred horse racing in America after the first thoroughbreds were brought over from England by Ogle in 1747. In 1898, the estate was sold to William Woodward who built large new stables on the farm by around 1907.
Belair Stable was one of the premier thoroughbred racing stables of 1930s, '40s and '50s. After the demise of William Woodward in 1953, the property went into the hands of his son, William Jr. Two years later, the horses were sold at auction. Until its closure in 1957, the stable served as the oldest continually operated horse farm in the United States.
The stable museum provides the public a glimpse of the rich history of horse racing in Maryland. The facility houses horse-racing artifacts and memorabilia, historic furnishings, personal artifacts, tools and equipment, printed ephemera, photographs, rare books, archaeological items, and artwork. It is accessible to the people with disabilities.
The stable serves as the venue for the Heritage Day celebrations, a festival celebrating Bowie's history.
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