Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Horse Care Products - Where to Shop

I'll let you in on one of my horse-related secrets.  I love to buy products from T.T. Distributors in Ocala, Florida. I find their prices are almost always cheaper than anywhere else and they have unique products (for the horse racing industry) that no one else has. It's not a fancy place but I went there for the first time almost 20 years ago when I went to HITS in Ocala.  Every time I go to Ocala, I stop in.  They will ship and you can shop off their website here.

The other "go to" place is Farmvet. Farmvet caters to the horse show crowd but they have all the products you will ever need for hunters and jumpers:  boots, leather cleaners, supplements, ear plugs, brushes, lead ropes, stable supplies.  Neither place sells a lot tack or riding clothes, but they have everything else. Farmvet gives USEF members a 5% discount.  Shipping is free if you buy more than $50 or $75.  You can see their site here.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Le Jacquard Francais Equestrian-Themed Table Linens

Le Jacquard Francais has some amazing equestrian-inspired designs which are now on sale from their 2013 Fall Collection. The imagery in "manege" is really beautifully done, and they resemble antique etchings of horses, equine gear, and show regalia. 

"Manege" comes in three colorways and a variety of sizes.  I love the beautiful "Hermes" orange color. I could almost wear this!  They make placemats, napkins, table runners and table cloths.  You can see the collection here.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Preakness Party 101

Now that the Derby is done, it's on to the Preakness.  Preakness Party anyone? Baltimore seems to be in the news a lot these days, so why not celebrate?  And maybe we have a horse this year with enough quality and depth to go all the way.....

So here's so suggestions on how to make your party be a winner........

I'd start with these party invitations from Etsy.  Are they not wonderful? You can find them here.

I love dishes so these with jockey silks would make your table a winner by anyone's standards.

See them here.

These topiaries are so cute. Put this one in a pot of ivy and you have a great centerpiece. You can use this for the Belmont too!

See it here

This great wooden cut out in the Preakness colors would look great on your door to welcome your guests:

Serve your guests in authentic Preakness Cups. You can buy there here.

Or these:
You might add this vintage decanter from the Preakness.....
 See it here.

The host might wear this great hat which is done in the Preakness' colors of the black-eyed-susan.  See it here.

Sara Campbell Dresses

I fell in love with this designer when I saw her beautiful dresses at the Charlotte Moss outing in Charlottesville.  Sara Campbell has stores in select cities across the U.S.  Lucky for me (well, maybe not), she has two in Virginia, one in Alexandria and one in Richmond.  You'll see what I mean....

The dress on the left was on the mannequin and I fell in love with it. How perfect would this be a summer wedding or cocktail party? It is silk taffeta, probably one of my favorite fabrics.  

 I love this for summer...
 This dress is so cute in person. It also came in a denim looking chambray.  The aqua color looks better in real life....
 Here is the same dress in a pink..

 I love this look too....

 She has some great looking coats, and you know the problem with coats....have way too many!

 This is too cute...

Friday, May 1, 2015

Charles Ancona Riding Jackets

I love these coats.  Maybe it's because you can add color to an otherwise dull black riding coat.

You can order one off the rack or custom.  Check out their Facebook page here.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Charlotte Moss in Charlottesville

Yesterday was one of those days that was just too much fun.  Sadly, we don't have too many of these types, but when we do, wow!  I had been looking forward to this for months and it didn't disappoint.  The weather even cooperated and it was a perfect 70 degree day, sunny, blue skies, no humidity and even the wind stopped for Charlotte in Charlottesville.

 My friend Molly and I drove to Farmington, one of the most historic country clubs around, for a lecture with Charlotte Moss about her new book.  She was wonderful!  Being from near-by Richmond she must have felt right at home and talked a bit about visiting the gardens of Jefferson's famed Monticello which is only a few miles away.  The book is even better than expected and if you love decorating, gardens, gardening or anything "Charlotte" you need to add this one to your collection. It will take many hours to go through this one, there is a lot of substance here.
The event was sponsored by the Albemarle Garden Club, based in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Here's the book in case you have not seen it. The book is large, the photos are lovely and large and the text has substance which you don't always get in a coffee table book.

This is the front of the Farmington Country Club, it is lovely beyond words. This part was designed by Thomas Jefferson in 1802.

 There were many vendors, fantastic shopping, very tasteful items ranging from clothes jewelry, art, shoes, needlepoint, lamps, lampshades, pillows, and decorative objects. The themes seemed to be animals, gardens, and flowers. It was crowded so I was not able to get good photos.  My friend Nancy came with her Chapel Hill Needlpoint and had some lovely things.  She seemed to be selling a lot.

 It was nice to see so many well-dressed women in one place. I have not seen this much Ferragamo, Hermes, and Tory Burch in one place in a while.
This was the center table in the room with the vendors. The entire place was dripping with taste.
What a fun day!  I wish we could do it all over again!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Maryland Hunt Cup

It's the most grueling, difficult, extreme test of horse and rider in this country and hardly anyone knows about it anymore. It's our "Grand National" and only the best of the best and the most daring will even attempt it. Do you know what it is or where it is?  Most do not. 

 2013 Maryland Hunt Cup Winner (Wikipedia)

In 1894, the members of the Elkridge Fox Hunting Club in Maryland challenged the members of Green Spring Valley Hunt Club to a timber race, hence the first Maryland Hunt Cup. The race organizers wanted the race to be run over natural hunting country; ridden by amateurs; and have no commercial activity.  The race has been run every year since 1894 with the exception of the years during the Second World War.  The race is always run the last Saturday in April. There are no restrictions of where the horse and rider are from but the race is still limited to amateur riders. Women were admitted to ride in the late 1970's with the first winner coming in 1981, Joy Slater on Cancottage.  She repeated the win in 1982.

In 1922, Worthington Valley became the permanent home of the four mile, twenty-two timber fence racecourse.  And it still stands today as the proud monument to the sport that its original founders intended. Eight horses have won the race three times and no horse has won it four times.  It is considered one of the most difficult horse races in the world. Two undefeated winners went on to win the Grand National in England, Jay Trump (1963, 1964 and 1966) and Ben Nevis II (1977, 1978). Both horses are now in the Hall of Fame.

The timber fences on the course are astoundingly high and solid.  They do not come down.  Some fences are close to five feet tall.


Over the years the Thoroughbreds have won the race, as you'd expect.  Some have had royal pedigrees, Blockade, the winner in 1938, 1939 and 1940 was sired by the famous Man 'o War.  Mountain Dew, a three-time winner was out of a mare by War Admiral.  But others came from more humble beginnings.  The sire of the famous Jay Trump raced at the relatively unknown Charles Town track in near-by West Virginia. 

Photo from the 1960's (Pinterest)

I went to the race once in the late 1990's.  It was not well attended and it can be damp and cold but that day it was sunny and bright.  We tailgated and watched the race with good friends. This is not a race for drunken tailgaters. Those who attend come to watch the horses and the real test is just to finish.

There is an INCREDIBLE story this week in the Washington Post.  Please read it.  It's one of those stories that there's no logical explanation for and you realize that there are sometimes other factors at work beyond our control that cannot be rationally explained.
Read the story here.

If in Maryland in late April please go see this race.  It is an amazing day, watching these horses in the beautiful setting in the Maryland hunt country.  Close your eyes and think back more than 100 years.  Not much has changed at this venue.  Thank goodness.

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