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October Artifact of the Month

Artifact: Jockey Helmet

Accession #: 2019.42.02

Year: 1960s


This riding helmet belonged to Jimmy Fitzsimmons, an Albertan racing jockey and honoured member in the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame & Museum. The base of the helmet is a metal equestrian protective helmet, which is a necessity in modern horse racing. The yellow fabric that covers the helmet is called a ‘jockey’s cap’. Modern caps are made oversized so that they fit snugly over the helmet. Jockey’s caps like this one came into use in the 17th century. The cap will typically match the jockey’s racing colours, called ‘silks’. Underneath the helmet are leather chin straps, used to hold the helmet in place while racing. This helmet was used in one of Jimmy Fitzsimmons’ 1960s races. He competed in and won the Queen’s Plate in 1962 and 1964.

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