Monday 8 July 2013

Hello after far tooooo long, I haven’t forgotten you…..


After a hiatus of months I haven’t forgotten you all! It’s been such a busy and exciting year: an adventure in Europe, a house renovation – still in progress and really an overall life reno!

Image:  Zorina, prima ballerina with the George Balanchine Company, hanging with outstretched arm on a Chirico horse statue. Credit: Condé Nast Archive 1937 via Vogue Australia

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Tuesday 6 November 2012

Black Caviar becomes a covergirl


Dazzling beauty and horse racing sensation Black Caviar graces the cover of Vogue Australia, making cover girl history! She’s the fastest racehorse in the world, and Australia’s most beloved sports star, and it’s the first time in the magazine’s 53-year history that a horse will appear on the cover.


Black Caviar (known at home as “Nelly”) was photographed by young Australian photographer Benny Horne in the foothills of the Dandenongs in a purpose-built outdoor studio alongside the thoroughbred of Australian modelling, Julia Nobis.

Weighing 570 kilograms and standing 16.2 hands, the statuesque bay mare is not our every-day cover girl, yet she is undeniably beautiful. No doubt she’d rather have been galloping down the straight at Flemington or Randwick than standing in a paddock, but she was on her best behaviour while posing with internationally renowned model Julia Nobis for photographer Benny Horne. The history-making mare is undefeated in 22 races.

{Images: Photographer Benny Horne and model Julia Nobis for VOGUE Australia’s December issue.}

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Tuesday 6 November 2012



It’s Melbourne Cup Day ~ the horse race that stops Australia, watch it at!

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Monday 28 May 2012

Equus ♥

Captivating equestrian images by Dutch photographer Ditte Isager for the Horse Riders Journal, Spring 2012.
{Images via Ditte Isager}

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Wednesday 8 February 2012

winter & horses


Some lovely winter white horses from Vogue China, 2005.

Capes and Coats
Photographer: Sølve Sundsbø
Model: Carmen Kass

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Saturday 17 December 2011

H is for Horse and Hermes


Beautiful portraits of horses by South African born, British raised photographer Koto Bolofo.

Koto Bolofo’s dream came true in 2004 when he started working for Monde d’Hermès, the Hermès magazine, and met the Chairman.

Mr Dumas asked where I came from. I said South Africa. He asked what part. I said Lesotho.

He was shocked and very excited. He explained that his great great great grandfather was a missionary in Lesotho and that the Zulus used to attack his mission, but the Sothos – my tribe – protected him.

I was very happy to be a Lesothan in Mr Dumas’s office that day.

He called me his cousin and said that his cousin was welcome any time

and I had carte blanche to photograph what I liked in Hermès”.

Koto Bolofo worked his way through all the workshops of the Maison Hermès, getting to know the craftsmen and discovering how everything is made: from handbags, perfumes, scarves, prêt-à-porter, and shoes to the original objects of the house, saddles. Nothing escaped his lens, even the most secret places, such as the museum, a treasure trove of history and all things Hermès tucked away in the midst of the Maison on rue du faubourg St Honoré.

The result is a beautiful book, titled ‘La Maison‘,

revealing behind-the-scenes of one of the oldest fashion houses in France.

 La Maison is a tome of 11 volumes published by Steidl. Each book is dedicated to a theme illustrating the Hermès brand identity: horses, saddles, the Kelly bag, clothes, perfume, the Bugatti Veyron, the gardens, the special orders, silk, John Lobb and the Emile Hermès collection.

Koto Bolofo  is the first photographer to have the privilege of a free licence around the Hermès ateliers.

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Sunday 11 December 2011

back on the horse!


Thank you Jeweller to the Lost for encouraging me to get my foot in the stirrup to blog again!

Time flies when having fun & starting a new job ~ I know lame excuse!

Beautiful horse head paper sculptures by Anna-Wili Highfield for Hermes…

{Inspiration Jeweller to the Lost}

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Monday 31 October 2011

black racing glamour


Glamour girl Rachael Finch poses in black evening gowns with Ammo, a powerful black stallion

for these stunning shots promoting the Melbourne Cup.

Thoroughbred horse Ammo explodes into the air

beside Rachael as she holds the rein. 

Images: Rachael Finch with fully trained show horse called Ammo.

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Saturday 8 October 2011

the star :: Black Caviar


Black Caviar + Salmon + Polka dots =

the pin-up girl of world racing who puts on breathtaking displays of speed.

She is an iconic Carousel Girl.

    On a river that turned to gold ~ the story of Black Caviar’s owners

    The Black Caviar story began on a houseboat in Echuca. Each February, for as long as any of them can remember, long-time friends Colin and Jannene Madden, Gary and Kerryn Wilkie and Neil Werrett have hired a houseboat at Echuca. The five families, who go back as far as kindergarten, have gathered for an annual water-skiing trip. The tradition of enjoying summer at the popular town on the Murray River gained momentum each year as the families expanded.

    The 2007 trip by the group, , was no different to any other, besides Sydney-based businessman Werrett’s insistence that the group “get organised” to get a new a car. And as a  first time car buyer” Neil was excited. He thought it would be great if we all raced one together — as much as an excuse to have lunch, I believe getting a horse and race it will be so much better ” Gary Wilkie said.

    On the same annual houseboat holiday the following February, Werrett’s original idea had become a firm commitment. So they put Caulfield trainer Peter Moody on the case and after a time, Moody discovered the horse. And within weeks, the commitment had a price tag and a pedigree, but not a name.

    Part-owners David and Jill Taylor (both far left), Gary (with trophy) and Kerry Wilkie (far right), with trainer Peter Moody (centre) and jockey Luke Nolen after Black Caviar’s.

    He called businessman Neil Werrett with the news. ”Peter rang and missed Neil but I took the call and he explained that he’d found a filly that would suit our needs,” Gary Wilkie recalled. ”And I can still remember how really upbeat he was about a yearling by Bel Esprit that was being offered at the Melbourne sales … I could tell from Peter’s voice that he was pretty keen on this filly.”

    Moody said: ”Honestly, she was a cracking yearling. She just grabbed me the moment I saw her and I identified in her everything you want for a racehorse of the future. ”I was aware that $210,000 was a lot to pay but she was related to Magnus who I trained and at the time of the sale was going so well so this really balanced it up.”

    Hours later and the water-skiing families had bought themselves a well-grown filly. ”Some of us have had horses before and we’re never under any illusions that while you can get a good horse there’s plenty of chances you’ll get a slow one and there’s nothing worse than paying up for an ordinary galloper,” Wilkie said. ”But we had confidence in Peter and I think by having the five families involved it has just strengthened our friendship.”

    Pam Hawkes, a Mornington Peninsula spud farmer (and Jannene Madden’s sister) came on board and named the filly. Hawkes had a penchant for black caviar and other seafood. The Bel Esprit filly’s grandmother was Scandinavia.

    “Helsinge, the name of Black Caviar’s mother, was in Scandinavia

    and that’s where the salmon live.”

    Wilkie’s daughter came up with the colours — salmon with black spots (caviar).

    David Taylor, a Melbourne real estate agent, was invited to join the group by Wilkie, a mate. ”I’m the lucky guy who got the call,” Taylor said. Taylor faced a major hurdle — his wife.  He said: “Jill wouldn’t have a bar of it — ‘You’re not buying a stupid bloody racehorse’, she said. She refused to do the bank transaction into Gary’s account, so I had to sneak around to the bank and do it myself. Now my horse is my wife’s horse.”

    Taylor’s wife’s horse is now Australia’s horse. Soon, the world may lay claim to Black Caviar. Black Caviar, with those flag-fluttering fans, who form queues to have cards signed by her trainer, is the Sunline and Makybe Diva of her time. Her owners and their friends and family have become a logistics-challenging, race-day army of about 60. Each owner uses the same sentiment to describe the journey.

    Wilkie says: “You can’t imagine it. It’s a little surreal. You see the way she affects people, this animal we have equity in, and you just think, ‘How lucky am I’?”

    Hawkes: “Besides my husband and children, Black Caviar is the best thing that has ever happened to me. It is a dream come true to have this beautiful horse.”

    Werrett: “Every owner in this horse feels as much pressure. One emailed me the other day at 5am and said, ‘I can’t sleep’. On race day, I’m a nervous wreck. There is more and more pressure every time she wins a race. I want that pressure to continue.”

    Colin Madden, a lawyer, said Black Caviar initially appealed to him not because of who she was but because of the AFL team she was linked to. Madden is a Bombers fan. Black Caviar’s sire is part-owned by Kevin Sheedy. ”I know bugger all about horses, but I’ll hop into anything involved with Essendon,” he said.

    “It’s so remarkable, it’s almost absurd. There has been a dynamic

    I’ve never understood, the way people have warmed to her. She is re-defining our lives.”

    {Images and source: ABC and Herald Sun}

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    Monday 30 May 2011

    Equestrian Dynasty :: Roycroft


    The patriarch of Australia’s greatest equestrian dynasty, five-times Olympian Bill Roycroft, passed away yesterday at the age of 96. Roycroft, who was Australia’s oldest surviving Olympian, heroically won Australia’s first Olympic gold medal in the three-day event at the 1960 Rome Olympics at the age of 45.

    The horseman from a central Victorian dairy farm won gold

    in the three-day team event despite riding with a broken shoulder.

    Roycroft navigated his trusty Our Solo around the Olympic course

    while heavily sedated, having effectively broken out of hospital.

    Individual and Team Gold, Rome 1960: Australian equestrian team members (from left) Laurie Morgan, John Kelly, Neale Lavis, Bill Roycroft and Brian Crago. Morgan won the individual three-day gold medal, and he, Lavis and Roycroft won the team event.

    Bill made the 1960’s Rome Olympics an unforgettable event. His unimpeachable performance brought the Australia on the path of victory. It was a remarkable feat after he was initially considered unable to compete in the final round after breaking his collarbone in a fall in the steeplechase.  He had flown by helicopter to hospital outside Rome. When other team members were unable to compete, Roycroft famously signed himself out of hospital against doctors’ orders.  On the field, his comrades had to dress him for the last ride by the dint of injuries. He was unable to bend himself but with all his profound strength he holistically completed the round of 12 jumps and clinched the gold for the team. But when other team members were unable to compete, Roycroft famously signed himself out of hospital against doctors’ orders and completed the final showjumping round flawlessly. Here he was catapulted to international stardom and won a gold medal for Australia. That was the most prestigious moment!

    Bill Roycroft is one of Australia’s greatest Olympians. He was born on a dairy farm in central Victoria in 1915 and grew up during the Depression. Bill rode in his first Olympics at the age of 45, in Rome, 1960. Bill went on to compete in four more Olympics.

    He established a dynasty with his three sons Barry, Wayne and Clarke, who all went on to compete in Olympic eventing, as did Wayne’s former wife Vicki. As head coach, Wayne Roycroft also led the Australian team to three consecutive Olympic eventing gold medals from 1992 to 2000.

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