The gift of two limited-edition prints of racing
scenes in Chester, England, the oldest horse racing
track in the United Kingdom, has sparked a new relationship
between Chester and Saratoga Springs.
During her visit to Saratoga in the fall of 2012,
Kay Kent, the director of strategic partnerships
at the University of Chester and Chair of the
Cheshire Racing Hub, was given a tour of the city,
the race course and numerous historic buildings.
It was during this trip that she learned of the
plans to celebrate the 150th anniversary of racing
in 2013, according to city officials.
Upon returning home to England, Kent
worked with Chester, England, to send an anniversary
gift – the two prints – to Saratoga
Springs to mark the anniversary.
In addition to both cities holding the title of oldest horseracing track in their respective countries, the Saratoga Springs racing community has long been home to a number of exercise riders who are natives of Chester and other United Kingdom cities.
The limited-edition prints were presented to the members of the Saratoga 150 Committee and Mayor Scott Johnson, were formally accepted by the Saratoga Springs City Council, and are on permanent public display in the Saratoga Springs City Center.
Charles Wait, chairman of the 150 Committee, indicated that the city of Saratoga Springs would like to reciprocate the gesture in recognition of the Chester celebration of the 475th anniversary of horse racing there in 2014. This is one of several steps under consideration to develop a sister city relationship between the two historic racing cities, officials said.