Saratoga Jockey Silks - The Story Behind the Colors

July 9, 2014 by admin

What comes to mind when you think of Saratoga Springs? Is it a subtle elegant mix of modern beauty blended with classic Victorian architecture? The historical natural springs that have hosted such prominent guests as the Vanderbilt’s and JP Morgan? Or maybe it’s the 150 year tradition of the best horse racing in America. No matter how different the person, everyone that visits Saratoga or lives in Saratoga can identify with the horses, more specifically the colors that the horses so majestically tout. These colors that are worn by the jockeys and horses are known as silks and actually have a lot more history around them than you might think.

Horse racing dates all the way back to Greek times and references to jockey “silks” can even be found in the Iliad written by Homer. During the beginnings of orchestrated horse racing however; there really was no need for distinguishing marks to identify different horses because the races were run over multiple miles and there was always a clear winner. However during the mid-1700’s the sport really took off with more and more spectators as well as more horses racing. It was at this point that we see the first recordings of jockey silk colors which were actually made out of silk. At first the colors were very much congruent among different horses, but continuing further down the historical timeline the introduction of polka dots and stripes begin to become common in a newly waged war of distinction between horses.

As horse racing transitioned from England to the America’s the sport gained popularity and became more organized. Different stables dueled across the entire country to put out the best horses that could win the most and draw the biggest crowds. The colors that owners chose to stage their horses with began to become symbols of where that specific horse came from. Colors such as devils red used by Calumet farms or the blue and white blocks ran by Secretariat will forever live in infamy and remain retired to the rest of the horse racing world. New color schemes picked by horse owners come out every day and must now be registered so that colors are not duplicat
ed.

Pavilion Grand Hotel pays homage to the rich history of the jockey silks and the Saratoga Race Track through its vibrantly colored interior. Brilliant raspberry and cobalt blue greet guests as they enter the hotel while hot yellow and lime green accents coalesce in the background. These distinctive colors intertwine throughout the hotel in congruence with an influx of contemporary artwork to portray the new age look into historic Saratoga that furthers the allure of the Pavilion Grand hotel.

Saratoga Jockey Colors

For more information please contact Pavilion Grand Hotel in Saratoga Springs at 518-583-2727 | www.paviliongrandhotel.com | 30 Lake Avenue | Saratoga Springs, NY 12866