Proud of My Calling Experience

June 18, July 16, August 20 and September 17



Guests will explore the Black Heritage in Racing exhibit and attend a live performance of “Proud of My Calling,” which brings to life Black jockeys and horsemen in the sport of Thoroughbred Racing. A Historic Walking Tour of Churchill Downs and full access to the Museum are included in the ticket price.

"Proud of My Calling" Performance
This is a live performance featuring the lives of Isaac Murphy, Ansel Williamson, and Jimmy Winkfield. These were among the greatest horsemen of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as the Kentucky Derby was becoming one of the most prominent sporting events in America. Join us for a one hour, immersive, theatre-style production as costumed actors bring to life the lives of these amazing horsemen. You will leave knowing the Kentucky Derby Heritage is also Black Heritage. This live performance begins at 3:00.

Black Heritage in Racing Exhibit
This newly-expanded exhibit is now 20 times larger and is featured in a prominent location on the first floor of the Museum. Guests will learn about the exceptional horsemen from the early days of horse racing, including Oliver Lewis, the first jockey to win the Kentucky Derby in 1875 aboard Aristides; Ansel Williamson, who trained Aristides; and Jimmy Winkfield, a Kentucky native who won back-to-back runnings aboard His Eminence in 1901 and Alan-a-Dale in 1902. Modern times are also explored, including the stories of Raymond Daniels and Greg Harbut, owners of 2020 Derby contender Necker Island.

Black Heritage in Racing Proud of My Calling performers

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Black Heritage in Racing Exhibit


  • July 16, August 20 and September 17
  • $25 per person (includes General Admission to the Museum)
  • 1 hour live performance with time for exhibit exploration before or after
  • Proud of My Calling performance begins at 3:00 p.m. EDT

Suggested itinerary:

  • 1:00 Visit Black Heritage in Racing exhibit, located on the first floor near the Winner’s Circle exhibit
  • 2:00 Historic Walking Tour of Churchill Downs, which leaves from Museum lobby
  • 2:40 Watch movie “The Greatest Race”
  • 3:00 “Proud of My Calling” live performance
  • 4:00 Visit other exhibits throughout the Museum

The Museum’s Derby Café is open for lunch on Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.



Traveling Black Heritage in Racing exhibit

Black Heritage in Racing Traveling Exhibit

The Black Heritage in Racing traveling exhibit serves as a companion piece to the Black Heritage in Racing permanent exhibit at the Kentucky Derby Museum. Beginning in the era of settler colonialism in what would eventually become the United States, the exhibit details how enslaved Africans laid the foundation for horse racing in this part of the world. The exhibit continues by showing how crucial Black Americans were to the early success of the Kentucky Derby; how the era of segregation and Jim Crow drove African Americans from the industry; telling the stories of Black Americans that served as primary caretakers for horses in the 20th century and detailing the initiatives of the Black community to increase the participation of African Americans in the industry in the modern era.

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