Monday, April 30, 2012

Derby Depth

The Kentucky Derby is Saturday and this is one Derby I am really looking forward to.  The depth in this year's race is extraordinary and there are a number of qualifed horses that could win.  There is no real front runner, no pun intended so with this kind of talent in one year, well, anything could happen.  Here are six to watch, very closely.

Union Rags

We've seen him mentioned already in this Blog.  Trained by the famed Michael Matz who also trained the infamous Barbaro, he has another fine one on his hands, but maybe not quite as talented as Barbero.  With 6 starts, he's won 4 with one place and one show.  Keep on eye on him. Matz knows how to train a horse and you can bet he learned a few things from his stint with Barbero.

Take Charge Indy
You simply can't discount a horse that Calvin Borel rides in the Derby.  This colt one the Florida Derby but that is his only win and with only four starts, he is lightly raced. But with Calvin, he clearly has an edge.   If there is traffic, well, Calvin will probably be in the lead. 


While I have not decided who I think will win in the end, this one is likely in my top three.  He was unraced at two, and had a commanding 9 1/2 length victory in the Arkansas Derby in mid-April.  The only problem with him though is that he is a front runner and with the talent in the race it may be hard to win it from the front.  Trained by the legendary Bob Baffert who is recoverting from a recent heart attack while in Dubai. 


He won the Blue Grass Stakes on April 14th.  He is 0 for 3 on the dirt but two of those races were sprints.  He supposedly loves the Churchill Downs track and with lots of front speed, a late running colt has a good shot. He has raced 8 times won twice.  Trained by Dale Romans with Kent Desormeaux in the irons.


He is the son of Tiznow who won the Breeders' Cup Classic twice.  With 5 wins in 5 races, he clearly likes to win.  He won the Wood Memorial on April 7th.  He has only raced twice this year so he should be fresh.  Todd Pletcher is the trainer. Keep a close eye on this one too.  Unless he has a bad trip, he should be in the top three for sure. 

Creative Cause

Trainer Mike Harrington's colt is the only Derby contender to have beaten both Dullahan and Bodemeister.  He was runner up in the Santa Anita Derby and he likes to sit off the pace and make his final move.  Probably one of the fastest horses in the race. 

You know where I will be late Saturday afternoon.  This is going to be a horse race!!!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

In a Little Bit

Snaffles.  Funny how something with such an odd name has become so popular. Even those who know nothing about or even like horses have snaffles on their belts, shoes handbags and other stuff.   

Even preppy snaffles have become popular like this Vineyard Vines belt.

We all love the classic Gucci loafer.

No one has done more to promote the snaffle concept more than Gucci.


This is nice twist from Melly Online.

You even find snaffles on reading glasses!

And this is one of my favorite needlepoint canvases but I have not stitched it as I don't know where I'd put it.  But heart it anyway. (From Elizabeth Turner through Pocket Full of Stitches).

Back in a little bit, for more posts (no pun intended).

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Clamering for Chippendale

Now that spring is here, it makes me think of gardens, being outdoors, trellis and that brings me to Chippendale.  I love Chinese Chippendale and its influence on decoration and design, whether it's in the garden or in the dining room.

Designers have also made it "modern" like in the Chippendale influence used in this wallpaper in a New York apartment. 

I also love Chippendale garden gates.

Benches and garden furniture (these are from The Well Appointed House):

Another Chippendale garden gates snazz up the landscape. This is from Old

Chippendale doors!

Another modern twist on an old idea from Pin Interest:

Enjoy this lovely Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Don't Fence Me In

When I think of "fence" four board horse fencing immediately comes to mind.  Call it "farm mania" if you will.  You have to have the money to install it, then you have to paint it, mow around it, weed wack under it and wire it if you have an animal that likes to chew on it.  Well, you get the picture.  It looks good, that we know. It does a great job of keeping most animals in and some out.   I never thought of being sentimental around the word "fence" or thinking about it beyond its utonian purpose.  But "fence" has a much more existential meaning if you start to think about it.

"Don't Fence Me In" is a motto that a friend of mine, a writer, adopted to remind herself to take risks, to do things out of the ordinary and to help her keep her creativity burning and to become aware of the fences that other people build that have a sometimes untended influence on you.

Don't Fence Me In is in fact an old cowboy song that many famous artists have adopted over the years. Harry Connick Jr. does it quite well.

All right, enough philosophy for one day!  I happen to love fencing.  All kinds.

One of the first things we did on our farm in Virginia was to replace the old wire fences that had housed cows.  We replaced ours mostly with four-board.

I love and appreciate all kinds of fencing:

(My Design

(My Design

(Hooked on Houses)

Even stone ones:


Hope you aren't feeling "fenced in" today!  Enjoy!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Reed Kessler, One to Watch

17-year old Reed Kessler of Armonk, New York is one to watch this year and probably for the next few decades.  At 17, she is so young, in fac,t that she was not allowed to jump the height which was required at the recent Olympic Trials (CSIO**, which is 1.45 to 1.50 meters) at least competitively until January of this year. Not only did she master the height and difficulty, she recently beat some of the best in the business in one of the required trials in Palm Beach.

No one likely doubted her immense talent, but no one expected her to win the first time out on both of her horses.  She won the class and was third on her second mount.  She jumped in her first FEI World Cup qualifier on February 11th with Mika and had one rail.  Pretty impressive. This is like riding and winning the Kentucky Derby in your maiden race. 

It does help that she has supportive parents, Terri and Murray Kessler, who are each accomplished amateurs in their own ranks.  She attends the Professional Children's School in New York so she can ride whereever she needs to in the world, literally.  

Also helps that she knows PR.  She was interviewed recently on the morning talk shows in New York.  She is well-spoken and obviously motivated and talented.  I think we will be seeing lots from this young lady, maybe even in London as she is currently at the top of the "long list" for the U.S. Equestrian Team.  Think she can ride with the "big boys" - McLain Ward, Beezie Patton and Margie Engel?  So far, yes, she probably can. 

Tribute to Laura

I learned this weekend that one of the most wonderful people in the world is no longer with us, far before her time.  This news took all of us by surprise and all that loved her are still trying to digest this new reality.  Laura was one of those people who always had a smile on her face.  There are many of us out fortunate enough to have so many wonderful memories with her - she made life fun and could laugh at anything. These photos say it all.  They show her zest for life and how happy she was despite health issues her past few years.  She never complained.  What a role model she is for all of us.

She would be embarassed that she was in a blog, that is just the way she was, she never wanted to be the center of attention.  But what a wonderful person with the most marvelous husband and two grown children who have a lot of her wonderful qualities.  Life is not fair.  She should still be with us!  We miss her terribly and it's still hard to understand why she is not here with us right now as she should be.  Laura, I am certain that you are now making the angels in heaven as happy as you made those around you on earth.  

Friday, April 20, 2012

Highland Court's Saratoga Line

Giving a nod to Highland Court's new Saratoga line of trimmings.  For those of you not into decorating, Highland Court is a line of decorator fabrics and trimmings (part of Duralee I believe). Earlier this year they launched a line that is clearly influenced by the equestrian.

On the company's website they offer that "our newest lifestyle trimming collection designed to capture the country chic sensibility of the equestrian enthusiast, SARATOGA features tassels, tiebacks, tapes and cords utilizing natural materials and are available in a wide variety of classic color combinations."  I love the names of the colors:  bluegrass, moss/saddle, blaze, perlino and chestnut.

This trim could be the "official trim of Rolex":

I mentioned this one in a post earlier this week.  This is fabulous!

Here are a few more photos from the line:

Makes me want to go out and decorate.  For more information you can go to their website:

Happy Friday!

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