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Angels for Horses Exhibition

On October 5, 2010, the ASPCA unveiled Angels for Horses: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, an exhibit chronicling the ASPCA's 145-year history of advocacy for horses in America. The show is on view at the Kentucky Horse Park's International Museum of the Horse, a Smithsonian affiliate in Lexington, KY, and home to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

Angels for Horses will remain on view for four years, showcasing original artifacts and historic documents from the ASPCA's archives, including:

  • Diary of Henry Bergh (1845): During his honeymoon in Europe, ASPCA founder Henry Bergh's described the carnage of bullfighting in Spain, a precursor to the dramatic changes Bergh would make in the United States 20 years later. 
  • ASPCA founding document (1866): Described as the "Animals' Declaration of Independence," the ASPCA's founding document includes such notable signatories as Horace Greeley, John Jacob Astor, August Belmont (of Belmont Racetrack), Peter Cooper, C.V.S. Roosevelt, James J. Roosevelt, Samuel Ruggles, William Bryant, Frank Leslie and Henry Bergh. 
  • "Mercy to Animals Means Mercy to Mankind!" (c. 1867): This handwritten, original quote, signed by Henry Bergh, was originally written on card stock. 
  • Original bronze medallion shield (1875): Depicting an armed angel of mercy hovering over a beaten carriage horse, this iconic image was created by supporter and famed illustrator Frank Leslie, and still stands as the symbol of the ASPCA. 
  • Portrait of Henry Bergh (1878): Painted by famous miniature portraitist John Wood Dodge, Bergh wears an 18K diamond-encrusted badge with the seal of a fallen carriage horse and avenging angel. The badge was a gift to Bergh from a wealthy "first patron" of the ASPCA. 
  • Zinc stallion horse finial (c. 1880): The cornerstone of the exhibit, the stallion weighs almost 800 pounds. Having graced the tops of ornate ASPCA horse fountains and guarded various ASPCA headquarters, it now keeps permanent residence at the International Museum of the Horse.

Exhibit design and lead curation, Marc Zaref Design, Inc.

What: Angels for Horses: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, an exhibit celebrating the ASPCA's 145 years of horse protection in the United States. 

Where: International Museum of the Horse 
             Kentucky Horse Park 
             4089 Iron Works Pkwy 
             Lexington, KY 40511 

When: October 5, 2010—ongoing 
           Daily: 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M 

Entrance to the Museum is included with your ticket for Admission into the Kentucky Horse Park. 

Info: Please visit the International Museum of the Horse for more information.

Photos 1, 2, 4 & 5 Geoff Tischman; 3, 8 & 9 Valerie K. Angeli; and 6, 7 & 10 Marc Zaref.

Exhibit creation, development and oversight, Valerie K. Angeli, ASPCA. [email protected].