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The Stylish Life Equestrian, by Vicky Moon
Stroll through this coffee table book to see features of the elaborate, exquisite human cultural phenomena that the humble horse has inspired. Published by teNeues in Sept. 2015, this photo album provides a stunning look at a variety of equestrian people and horses on an international scale.
“The horse has always provided inspiration for style…the equine image stirs artistic creativity…the horse offers a sense of secure partnership for their famous and not so famous owners, riders, and spectators,” writes author Vicky Moon.
Explore the world of equestrian sports and culture, first to destinations and events around the world. Lexington, Kentucky is the center of Thoroughbred racing and the origin of a wide array hats and fashion worn to equestrian events. Photos capture a sea of hats at the Royal Ascot, the Kentucky Derby and Secretariat, Santa Anita Race Track and the Dublin, Ireland Horse Show; Cartier International Polo in Dubai, and the Blessing of the Horse before the Palio di Siena in Italy.
The next section focuses on the horse people – legends and characters. There’s a classic photo of Jockey Calvin Borel just after he rode Mind That Bird to win the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby. Featured here are Dressage legends Charlotte Dujardin and Edward Gal; famous show jumpers Athina Onassis at the 2013 Palm Beach International Equestrian Center and NY City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s daughter Georgina Bloomberg at the Central Park Horse Show. Of course, there’s the royal family – the Queen riding sidesaddle and a photo of her taking a photo. Several photos show German show jumper Hans-Günther Winkler: an impressive one going down a steep bank on his horse. There are Elizabeth Taylor, Jacqueline Onassis and her children, and Grace Kelly. There’s Julie Krone, the first female Triple Crown winner, at Aqueduct.
Horses inspire fashion, as Coco Chanel used her riding jodhpurs as inspiration for her tailored style. Few are more famous than Ralph Lauren designs, some of which utilize polo player Nacho Figueras as model for the Ralph Lauren Polo collection. The most outlandish ensemble, probably, ever worn to a sporting event is on page 95: Mrs. Gertrude Shilling wearing an apricot-colored, feather-trimmed outfit with matching cartwheel hat at the Ascot races, 1969. Gucci is certainly not omitted, and neither is Rodrigo Pessoa. How many know about famous boot maker John Lobb, whose customers include Queen Elizabeth? Hermés saddles as well as fashion scarves and ensembles are captured at the Spring 2011 fashion show, the finale of which shows the eight models mounted on horseback.
Finally, the focus comes to art and design, which includes not only horse paintings, sculptures, photography, and film, but also some very elaborate horse housing structures, such as the Royal Mews attached to Buckingham Palace, the covered running track and architectural framework of the arena at Le centre d’entrainement de Grosbois in France (these are not simply “barns”). Meet artist Sir Alfred Munnings, one of England’s finest painters of horse.
Included are images of royalty, socialites, and fabulously-dressed spectators intermingling with the high-profile stars of the sport. The book makes a wonderful compendium for every horse lover and anyone interested in rarefied equestrian sport culture and lifestyle
About the author: Vicky Moon chronicles the horse world and its surrounding culture as a writer and photographer, having written seven books and for many magazines such as People, Town & Country, and House and Garden, on the subject.
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