Book on Wellington's Winter Equestrian Festival to Debut at Denim
and Diamonds on Sunday, February 15
Vicky Moon, author and equestrienne, will be signing the first copies
of her new book A Sunday Horse about the celebrity and character-packed
Winter Equestrian Festival.
A Sunday Horse: Inside the Grand Prix Show Jumping Circuit
March 2004 ISBN 1-931868-41-7 $25.00
6" x 9", Cloth, 224 pp. + 70 black and white photos
Sunday Horse gives a no-holds-barred insight to the behind the scenes
of the humans and the horses."
- Snowden Clarke, trainer and rider, The Plains, Virginia
As part of the many festivities planned for the spectacular Denim
& Diamonds gala to benefit the United States Equestrian Team
(USET) on Sunday, Feb 15, a new book "A Sunday Horse: Inside
the Grand Prix Show Jumping Circuit" will debut.
The hottest party in Palm Beach County will take place at The South
Florida Expo Center at The South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm
Beach. According to producers and chairmen Mason Phelps, Jr. and
Beverly Lake Wilkes this year's event "Denim & Diamonds:
Back to the Future" will be brought to life by event-planner
extraordinaire Bruce Sutka. The USET, historically the beneficiary
of Denim & Diamonds, will once again be the 2004 beneficiary.
During the event's successful, prior six-year run, over $1 million
was raised for the USET. With the upcoming 2004 Olympic Games in
Athens right around the corner, the timing is ideal to bring back
this major fund-raiser.
In keeping with Denim & Diamonds' tradition, there will also
be a high-end silent auction where author Vicky Moon will be signing
the first copies of her new book hot off the press.
According to Moon, children of celebrities, illegal immigrant workers,
large corporation heirs and members of royalty all meet in one place
- Wellington's Winter Equestrian Festival, the beginning of the
Grand Prix Show Jumping Circuit Season. "During the winter
show season more than $3 million in prizes will be offered in Wellington.
The horse population swells with over 4,000 horses brought in on
gleaming tractor-trailers, utilitarian horse rigs and a few by cross-country
jet to the tune of a one way ride for $3,000. With the horses, there
are 6,000 others including riders, trainers, owners, anxious mothers,
nannies and other hangers on," says writer Vicky Moon, a long-time
equestrienne and the author of the upcoming book A Sunday Horse:
Inside the Grand Prix Show Jumping Circuit.
Moon describes this intricate dance of horse competitions, swanky
charity fundraisers, and the likes of Johnnie Cochran, Bruce Springsteen,
Dan Marino, and Michael Bloomberg rubbing shoulders with sports
hypnotists and stable staff. Vicky explains, "In addition to
the hoity toity and the hoi poli, we have the haughty and the naughty.
Among the other members of the Grand Prix troupe: numerous big league
corporate movers and shakers from the pages of Forbes and Fortune
and their very pretty (usually blonde) horse loving daughters, a
traveling salesman who specializes in carrots, numerous veterinarians,
a sports hypnotist and many merchants who sell anything and everything
with a horse or snaffle bit on it."
And then there is the very tender story of 96-year-old photographer
Budd, still alive and kicking in New York City. Moon relates how
well known artist Henri Moore was inspired by his work along with
Budd's fascinating connection with many famous artists. It promises
to be an eye opener to many long time horse show folks, with many
vintage photos too.
A Sunday Horse, Vicky Moon illustrates what Winter Equestrian Festival
attendees are likely to see and to miss from behind the scenes.
Other Festival scenes Vicky Moon spotlights in A Sunday Horse are:
The history of the Festival. "The Sunshine Circuit (now the
Winter Equestrian Festival) originally took place at a number of
stops in Florida: Delray Beach, Winter Haven, Gainesville, Miami,
Boca Raton and Palm Beach. The shows were then held at the polo
grounds until they outgrew the space."
" The dwellings of participants and attendees, from mansions
to trailers. "All around the far reaches of Welly World, horses
park in a precious piece of shade, some stand under chicken huts
custom built by the Seminole Indians
.If a larger house is
what you're looking for, there's the $25 million Mida Farm mansion
owned by Isaac Argetty where the 2003 ABC television reality series,
'The Family,' starring the eternally tan and seemingly ageless George
Hamilton, was taped."
" Celebrity sightings. "Television anchor Lou Dobbs joins
the ranks of waiting fathers with his fourteen-year-old twin daughters
Heather and Hillary, who ride with trainer Missy Clark of Warren,
Glenn Close is not far off when her daughter trained
by Peter Lutz of Katonah, New York, appears in the show ring."
" Several juicy scandals including
the strange case of
veterinarian Cathy Crighton, accused of allegedly stealing two horses
and then spray-painting their legs, she is dubbed the Rust-Oleum
Rustler by Moon. She awaits trial.
" Then there are more stories. Physical therapist Michele Altemus
and The Perfect Balance for Equestrians, sports hypnotist Laura
Boyton King, The Carrot Man Walter Chiveral, and a day in the life
of a top groom.
list of chapters: Money and Mosquitoes, A Box of Chocolates, Paint
by Numbers, Mad(den) About You, HITS?, Word of Mouth, Who's Gonna
Sit With The Prince?, Where Champions Meet, The Oldest Horse Show
in the United States, Trials and Tribulations, Hob Snobbing and
Deep Throat Meets Mister Ed. Finally, the epilogue "The Boys
" written with veteran California journalist Judith Spreckels.
Moon has chronicled the lives of the rich, the not-so-rich, the
famous, and the not-so-famous for more than twenty years. She has
covered her hometown of Middleburg, Virginia's local murders and
prominent lives for People Magazine and the Washington Post. She
has also written about Middleburg's hunt balls, steeplechase races
and parties for Town and Country, Millionaire and Southern Accents
magazines and has served as a contributing editor for House and
Garden. Ms. Moon is the author of The Official Middleburg Life Cookbook,
The Middleburg Mystique: A Peek Inside the Gates of Middleburg,
Virginia (Capital, 2001); and Best Dressed Southern Salads (Capital,
2002). Vicky lives in Middleburg, Virginia, with her husband, sportswriter
Leonard Shapiro, and their son.