You are probably familiar with baseball trading cards. What you may not know is that horse racing trading cards, also known as horse racing cigarette cards, are very popular. A quick search of eBay and other online auction sites will reveal that there is quite a market for these cards, especially in the UK.
Horse racing tobacco cards have also been produced on occasion in the United States. These cards can feature the legendary horses, jockeys, and trainers that dominated the early days of horse racing. Here is a closer look at these cards and the hobby of collecting them.
About Horse Racing Trading Cards
Trading cards for various sports have been around for well-over 100 years. Today these cards are commonly referred to as sports cards, and they can be purchased in their own packs. When they were first introduced the cards were packaged with other items. Tobacco was the item usually chosen.
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This may seem strange because there is a general perception that sports cards are collected by the young. This is true, but there was and is an adult market for them. It is also true that tobacco companies were able to appeal to adults that had children. The adult could buy the tobacco for themselves and give the horse racing cigarette cards to their child.
In the late 1800s many types of sports trading cards began to appear and become popular. Baseball cards were the most popular, but horse racing trading cards were also a popular choice in the UK. These cards often featured the most popular jockeys on a racing circuit, even though many of the athletes were unknown beyond the local territory.
In recent years the Jockey Club and other horse racing organizations have released special sets of jockey trading cards. These cards are sometimes sold to benefit various organizations and funds for disabled jockeys. The cards can be quite collectible.
The one thing that has changed about horse racing cigarette cards is that they no longer are associated with tobacco. The world has moved away from using such items to endorse products that are considered to be bad for someone’s health. Today the cards are sold in their own packs. Many horse racing trading cards are specialty items and must be ordered. They are not usually found in local stores.
Reasons to Collect Horse Racing Cigarette Cards
People tend to collect horse racing trading cards for a number of reasons. Not least of these is the perception that the value of the cards will rise, making them a good investment. In reality, this rarely happens.
In the entire history of sports cards only a select few have become worth thousands of dollars. Rarer still are the horse racing trading cards that reach these numbers. Individuals that buy the cards solely for speculation are apt to be disappointed.
There is another type of collector, though. This is the card collector that buys the cards simply for the love of horse racing. Those who approach the hobby from this perspective are apt to get far more enjoyment from the act of collecting the cards than those who merely want them as an investment. There are even some horse racing fans that use the hobby as a way to introduce their children or grandchildren to the joys of horse racing.
Where to Buy Horse Racing Cards
There are several places where one might go about the business of buying horse racing trading cards. For the current issues, the best choice is to search the Internet and find the source of the cards. They will most likely need to be ordered directly from the company that is producing them.
When it comes to buying cards from the 1800s or early 20th century, an auction site like eBay can be a good starting point. The problem is that auction sites are often overrun with fakes. You may be duped into paying an extreme amount of money for a card that is a reproduction.
You can also find vintage horse racing trading cards available at some sporting card shows. Even here you must use your due diligence and judgment to avoid being scammed. You can find them on Amazon such as on this link here.
Caring for Your Horse Racing Cards
Once you have obtained your horse racing cards you will need to protect them. The condition of the cards that you collect can have a large impact on value. Many card collectors prefer to store their cards in boxes that allow the cards to be kept in an upright position.
A box will also prevent light from fading the images on the cards. You should try to store your cards in a place where the temperature is neither too hot or too cold. Moisture should be avoided at all costs.
Other storage solutions for collectible trading cards include binders with plastic inserts. The plastic inserts have pockets on them that the card can be placed in. If you store your cards this way, be sure to keep them upright.
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