TOP ARTIST, MICHELLE McCULLAGH, COLLABORATES WITH WINCANTON RACECOURSE TO MARK 150 YEARS OF RACING

TOP ARTIST, MICHELLE McCULLAGH, COLLABORATES WITH WINCANTON RACECOURSE TO MARK 150 YEARS OF RACING

Tuesday, 26th September 2017 – Dorset’s international selling artist, Michelle McCullagh, has joined forces with Wincanton Racecourse to celebrate 150 years of racing.

Michelle McCullagh has kindly provided artwork and illustrations for WINCANTON RACECOURSE THE FIRST 150 YEARS – a 60-page hardback book commissioned in celebration of the racecourse’s landmark birthday. 

Speaking on the collaboration, Michelle said: “I was thrilled to have been asked to contribute towards Wincanton’s birthday book – it’s a fabulous tribute to my favourite and local racecourse.”

The front cover of the book is an oil painting in neutral hues of three horses and three jockeys from different eras.

18 of Michelle’s drawings are carefully scattered throughout the book and the successful collaboration cleverly injects her distinctive style and expressive use of minimal lines to numerous pages. 

Some of Michelle’s illustrations have reinvented times gone by, such as Wincanton Railway Station circa 1870, which sees horses being transported to Wincanton Races by rail.  Whereas, others are life drawings taken from her own on-course experience, including sketching the Household Cavalry on their wonderful visit to Wincanton Racecourse earlier this year.

Michelle’s illustrations include pencil drawings of horses jumping, officials at work, photo finishes, Badger Ale Livery, grooms at work, hunting and hounds, loose horses cantering, the legging-up of a jockey, to winning connections and post race antics.  These drawings will be available to purchase from Wincanton Racecourse at the Season Opener on Friday, 20th October where Michelle will stage an exhibition in the Paddock Pavilion or visit www.mccullagh.co.uk

Huw Williams, General Manager of Wincanton Racecourse, added:  “We are privileged to have secured the services of such a talented artist, and one on our doorstep! 

“Michelle McCullagh’s artwork beautifully complements the nostalgic photographs, written memories, anecdotes and stories; and we are thrilled with the end product.

“On behalf of Wincanton Racecourse and the Racecourse Committee, we look forward to celebrating and sharing our rich history throughout the 2017/2018 season.”

WINCANTON RACECOURSE THE FIRST 150 YEARS created by Dorset-based author, George Bingham, is also available to purchase from the racecourse office and other outlets for £25.

FRIDAY, 20th OCTOBER – SEASON OPENER

Racing starts on Friday, 20th October with the official launch of WINCANTON RACECOURSE THE FIRST 150 YEARS.  Author George Bingham and trainer Paul Nicholls will be available for book signing at 1pm and 4pm. Gates open at midday for a seven racecard and once again Wincanton will operate its mid-week one-enclosure admission price of £12 for an advance ticket, increasing to £14 on the day.

SUNDAY, 29th OCTOBER – KEY4LIFE CHARITY RACEDAY – CELEBRATING 150 YEARS OF RACING AT WINCANTON

Come Sunday, 29th October Wincanton will stage their community themed raceday that officially celebrates 150 years of racing in support of Key4Life – a local charity that aims to reduce youth reoffending through bespoke rehabilitation programmes.  The day will take on a Victorian theme with an array of complimentary entertainment reflecting the 1860s.

For full details about Wincanton’s forthcoming season, please visit wincanton.thejockeyclub.co.uk

About Michelle McCullagh:

Michelle graduated from Falmouth University in 2008 and has successfully established herself as a fine artist specialising in animals, particularly horses.

From a very young age, Michelle has been closely involved with horses and her fascination with the movement of animals is explored in her work.

Michelle’s life drawings are expressive through minimal lines, whereas her bold oil work complements her distinctive style by contrasting colours where light catches anatomical flashes of detail.

About George Bingham:

George Bingham has spent most of his life on or around horses.  He hunts with the South Dorset Hunt and rode in Point-to-Points in the 1980s and 1990s.  George is a Dorset-based sculptor and specialises in equine subjects.  This is his first book.

About Wincanton Racecourse:

Celebrating 150 years of racing, Wincanton Racecourse’s 17 racedays will take on a celebratory feel throughout the 2017/2018 season.  Situated in the heart of Somerset, Wincanton is considered the new home of jump racing with West Country trainers leading the field in the sport of kings.  For more information regarding Wincanton activities please visit wincanton.thejockeyclub.co.uk and like our digital platforms: Twitter (@WincantonRaces) and Facebook facebook.com/WincantonRaces 

Wincanton Racecourse is part of The Jockey Club which stages thrilling sporting occasions including The Randox Health Grand National, The Cheltenham Festival and The Investec Derby. Millions of people every year enjoy the special experiences we offer through racing, music, food and entertainment. Governed by Royal Charter, every penny we make goes back into British Racing to help the sport thrive. We were founded in 1750 and today we are the largest commercial group in Britain’s second-biggest spectator sport, operating 15 racecourses nationwide, The National Stud, Jockey Club Estates, Jockey Club Catering, Jockey Club Live and our charity, Racing Welfare. For more information visit www.thejockeyclub.co.uk

For further information please contact:

Hannah Walker, Wincanton Racecourse on 07971 598287 or hannahwalker@localdial.com

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