Behind-the-Scenes Scoop on Wellington's Winter Equestrian
Vicky Moon, author and equestrienne, takes you behind the scenes of
Wellington's celebrity and character-packed Winter Equestrian Festival,
in her upcoming book A Sunday Horse.
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-bared insight to the behind the scenes
of the humans and the horses."
- Snowden Clarke, trainer and rider, The Plains, Virginia
VA: 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 poloi, 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, one (registered)
sex offender, numerous veterinarians, a sports hypnotist and many
merchants who sell anything and everything with a horse or snaffle
bit on it."
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, Amy
Sharp, trained by Peter Lutz of Katona, New York, appears in the
" Inside the day to day dealings of the Festival's staff. "Mason,
in his role of public relations maharishi, is desperate to track
down a photographer right this minute. He's frantically fanning
around in a tropical silk shirt given to dozens of horse show officials
to wear courtesy of Tommy Bahama, sponsor of Sunday afternoon's
$75,000 Grand Prix.
As he will henceforth be known, Mason the
Maharajah's wheels are spinning. It's late on Saturday and if he
can email a photo before deadline to The Shiny Sheet (the upper
crust paper over in Palm Beach) it would make the Sunday morning
paper. Within minutes at least three photographers show up."
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 her son.