Northampton, MA (September 22, 2016) - For native New Yorker L.A. Pomeroy, the honor couldn't have struck a more heartfelt chord than learning how a shared love for equestrian collectibles, art and 'thinking outside the box' led to becoming the inspirational Muse for the show world's hottest course designer, Bobby Murphy, and the fences he designed for the Rolex Central Park Horse Show, now through September 25, in New York City.
“I can't take credit for the initial concept of the designs. That has to go to a lady named L.A. Pomeroy. She'd come up with this idea about the five boroughs and pop art. At first I wasn't going to jump on it because I had started designs for a totally different set of jumps. Then we both got the same Christmas present. I saw she posted a picture on Facebook of a (Jim Beam bourbon) Kentucky Derby bottle. What a coincidence that two people get the same exact vintage present. I saw that as a sign to listen to her,” Murphy said from his Kentucky Horse Park studio, where his reputation for artistic genius had already been cemented thanks to the giant sand sculptures commissioned in August for the USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, and graffiti-inspired motifs used at last year's Central Park show.
Pomeroy says, “I was weaned on annual trips to Madison Square Garden for the National Horse Show. Especially its Puissance nights, and when I began working in horse show publicity the National was among my accounts. It left a hole in my fall calendar and in my heart when New York no longer had a horse show. When I saw Bobby's work last year for Central Park with an urban graffiti artist, I saw the potential for a much richer and dynamic Manhattan theme. So I reached out, suggesting an homage to the five boroughs, as well as a nod to artists like Peter Max, a legendary figure in the pop art world who happens to live on the Upper West Side, and an advocate for wild horses and burros whose murals have raised awareness and funds to support their protection.”
Then there was that commemorative ceramic bourbon bottle of Derby winner, Aristides.
“One thing you might not know is I'm a huge collector of historical items,” Murphy told her in an online exchange after revealing she was his “inspiration” for the Central Park designs, and had shared images of some fences undergoing their transformation. “I have stuff that I have given to museums on loan, and part of my collection are newspaper articles from The Morning Telegraph for 1898. The same year the five boroughs were created.”
“Bobby didn't know that I am also a longtime collector of all things equestrian,” she said, “including loaning part of my Olympic and USET collections to the USHJA Wheeler Museum for its 2016/2017 American show jumping exhibit. I also collect Thoroughbred racing memorabilia and the Derby bottle was from my sister. When Bobby shared being given the same old bottle, frankly, I was envious – his has the matching stopper, mine doesn't!”
It was Pomeroy who plugged the last gap in Murphy's creative process. For the Bronx, he had gone with a baseball-and-bat theme; for Wall Street/Manhattan, a stack of pocket change; and for Brooklyn, a sidewalk newsboy hawking papers.
“Really having a hard time with what to do for Staten Island,” he told her.
“I replied that was the easiest of all! Nothing says Staten Island more than its ferry,” she said.
His response? “Ferry is a great idea.” He sent images of a hunter equitation-type stonewall back in his shop: “I think we can paint the back side of this to look like the ferry.”
“And,” says the award-winning equinista with a gleeful grin, “he did.”
Pomeroy, as Murphy's Muse and VIP guest, will pop down to the Rolex Central Park Horse Show, Saturday, September 24, to see and report on pop art, course design and 'thinking outside the box' meld for an afternoon matinee of hunter competition at the Wollman Rink including the $50,000 US Open Duchossois Cup.
LA Pomeroy is an award-winning equinista (fashionista + equestrienne) whose contributions are found in today's best eq print and digital media. She is collaborating with Equine Industry Vision Award winner Robert E. Cacchione to chronicle the first 50 years of IHSA, led the show ring style podcast, Dressed to Thrill, with Brentina Cup rider Mary Cameron Rollins at www.usdf.org, and continues her haute-to-trot coverage on Facebook, LinkedIn and www.lapomeroy.com.