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Mario López Oliva

lunes, 4 de agosto de 2008

Equestrian style featured in new book

The Saratogian - Saratoga,NY,USA

Equestrian style featured in new book
By: ALYSSA FRANKLIN, For The Saratogian

The cover of Vicky Moon's new book, featuring home designs that incorporate equine motifs.
When author Vicky Moon hosted Thanksgiving dinner, her family was struck by her equine décor. One particularly precocious guest sat down at the table, gazed at the images of horses lining the walls and fine china and said, "Don't you have anything with a duck on it?"

Twenty years later, Moon, a journalist and author for nearly two decades, published "Equestrian Style," the first book to examine the people and places of the horse world through the scope of home design and couture.

"I love horses, I've had horses all my life," Moon said. "What happened to me is probably what happens to many writers - they say write about what you know, and I know horses and horse people very well," she said.

"Equestrian Style" is Moon's sixth book. She has served as the contributing editor for "House and Garden" magazine and writes a monthly column for "Washington Life" from her home in Middleburg, Va.

Also an accomplished photographer, Moon shot more than 100 of the 450 lavish and colorful photographs coloring the pages of "Equestrian Style."

This is the first of her many publications to include the work of other photographers and to require months of travel and extensive research. In her year-long trek around the country, Moon visited exquisite ranches and horse retreats from Kentucky to Hollywood, Calif., and even a correctional facility, where inmates care for former racehorses - home of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation.

But the end of Moon's journey brought her to Saratoga Springs, where August is truly for horse lovers.

In a chapter called "An August Affair," Moon explores the equine traditions of historic Saratoga Race Course, and all things that make this town a tourist and horse-lovers paradise.

"You can't write about equestrian style and not go to Saratoga," Moon said. According to Moon, though there are horse pockets all over the country, Saratoga's rich history makes this one truly unique.

Since 1863, the racetrack has attracted fans from across the globe to these fabled grounds.

The beauty of the equestrian culture, Moon believes, is its diversity. "It crosses all disciplines, as well as all socioeconomic levels of people who love horses," she said.

But Moon's book transcends the realm of horse racing.
To learn about some of the oldest structures in Saratoga Springs, Moon turned to local architect Tom Frost. A graduate of Harvard School of Design, Frost has renovated more than 30 local carriage houses.

These Victorian-style buildings date back to the 1800s, and were used to store horse-drawn carriages in the days before cars.

"Almost all the homes on Broadway had their own carriage houses," Frost said. His firm, Frost Architecture, operates from within a restored carriage house in Long Alley, situated just off Broadway.

It was the system of alleyways, according to Frost, that made Saratoga Springs so conducive to carriage houses. "Most of the carriage houses are on alleys behind the main house," he said. "You could drive the horses in one side of the building and out the back."

Also nestled near to the heart of downtown, one carriage house holds special significance to Frost.

The Starbuck Lane carriage house was originally owned by Ella and Edgar Starbuck, owners of Starbucks Department Store on Broadway, just up the street from the current Starbuck's coffee shop. The carriage house was built in 1900, on the former Hall Alley, at the rear of the Starbuck's home at 11 Fifth Ave.

In 1990, Frost purchased the red brick carriage house, now where he lives with his wife, Carole.

Though he converted the building into a single-family dwelling, Frost managed to preserve most of its original hardware and timber, retaining its historic charm.

Moon, who toured many of the area carriage houses, was fascinated by her findings.

"I would be very curious about how many people who live in Saratoga actually know about the Starbuck connection," she said.

Vicky Moon will be promoting "Equestrian Style" in Saratoga Springs at the following events: Booksignings from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 2, at the National Museum of Racing and from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Aug. 5, at The Hunt, Ltd., 487 Broadway.
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