It all started with a bourbon bottle.
Actually, it started with LA Pomeroy’s fantastic idea to represent the five boroughs (Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island) along with pop art, and an antique 1875 Jim Beam Bourbon bottle. This is the unique story of how the zesty LA Pomeroy inspired the Central Park Horse Show’s course!
For “The Muse of the Central Park Horse Show”, this is a fairy tale dream come true! LA loves equine art, collectibles and some of her fondest memories are when she did the PR for the Madison Square Garden Horse Show . “[It’s] fate!” LA said in an exclusive interview with #equinearthour this past Sunday. Scroll down to read more about this Equinista (equestrienne + fashionista) and her interview below!
Location: Northampton, Massachusetts, USA
I think it was a sure sign that LA would be a “horse person” for the rest of her life when her first horse, who happened to a palomino, was named “Trigger”. She mixed her passion for horses and writing together when she started writing about her 4H horse club news to the county paper.
“In nutshell I’m an equinista (equestrienne + fashionista), write, handle media and PR for top level equestrians/events. I’ve worked at the FEI levels for 25+ years with the riders who were my heroes as a kid, including Madison Square Garden PR. Which made this year’s connection to the Central Park Horse Show enormously emotional and special to me. Thanks Bobby Murphy!”-LA Pomeroy
Some of LA’s first achievements were on equine art, earning her first Equine Media Awards from a piece on western modern art. Now, with various awards for her decades long career in the equine media business, she can add a new splendor to her resume: she collaborated on the course for one of the most unique and spectacular horse shows, the Central Park Horse Show in NYC.
Course designer Bobby Murphy said, “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.”
He’s a legend in the making,” LA said. ” He did the sand jumps USHJA Finals, WEG, Wellington. He brings equine experiences to the masses superbly. Bobby Murphy is a wise teammate and he’d want me to mention Tracy Oberc who did the actual painting of the fences. Tracy Oberc is a videographer at Keeneland – her keen eye for color, composition, form & detail made it work. And neither of them got much sleep at CPHS! It rained the night before & they were still painting fences at sunrise.”
TFS: How did you get involved in the horse industry? Do you show or have your own horse?
LP: Yes, all the above. I had a byline by 10 years old, submitting 4H horse club news to the county paper and rode my first horse. Honest to goodness, he was a palomino named Trigger. 1st drive in movie for me was “Horse in the Grey Flannel Suit” about jumper Aspercel at the Madison Square Garden. I was Dean Jones!
“Tracy [Oberc] painting the coins on the preliminary Wall Street/Manhattan fence.”- LA Pomeroy
TFS: Of all of the events you have covered/the awards you have received, which has had the biggest impact to your career?
LP: 1996 Atlanta Olympics. I learned that a great ride looks the same on every equestrian face whatever their language, gender or nation at the Games. From art (ahem) collection view! In Atlanta the Olympic banners in the equine arena were stolen almost nightly. From a PR view twas maddening because no banners to ID/brand equine arena photo backgrounds as Olympic!
Staten Island Ferry Jumper before and after:
What is it like to be a five-time American Horse Publications’ winner/finalist?
LP: The pragmatic answer: ephemeral. ‘Wriding’ is only as good as your last effort! But it’s an avocation not a job. What it reflects most is my good fortune in working with editors who give me a fairly free rein.
TFS: Who is your favorite horse/rider and why?
LP: Debated between Chapot v Steinkraus at length with Mom 1968 Olympics. Hollywood riders? Kiefer Sutherland has a grand seat but I’d be remiss if I didn’t say Secretariat and Ronny Turcotte. That hoss could run.
TFS: Would you tell us more about the Hunter/Jumper course at the Central Park Horse Show last weekend?
LP: Fate! And ceramic bourbon bottle art…between working the National at the Garden& ties to NYC 2015 for the EQUUS Film Festival I watched CPHS between Bobby Murphy & I sharing opinion of what looked ‘NY’ enough (I am native New Yorker had an opinion)…sharing the same Jim Beam Derby bourbon bottle as xmas gifts, Bobby took it as a ‘sign’ to try my idea, which was to have fences that represented the 5 Manhattan boroughs & he liked it!
“Giant wire horse heads being filled with natural materials and for the course. The ‘braided manes’ are from bark that, over the course of the off-season in storage, naturally rolled into these tight parchment-like pieces!”-LA
TFS: How did you get the fantastic idea to have different jumps represent the 5 boroughs of NY that Bobby Murphy created?
LP: My Muse was on my shoulder. It seemed a no-brainer! Having interviews enough course designers over the years I have a ‘feel’ for their job.
“The Rolex pop art taking form…” LA Pomeroy
TFS: How were the locations/themes chosen?
LP: Research. Bobby is a history buff. For instance, tons of Brooklyn history went into the newsboys. Ditto. The Bronx fence which was a baseball bat (a real wood ‘slugger’) and ball signed by Babe Ruth.
TFS: Which Course Designers have you interviewed?
LP: Steve Stephens and his American Invitational courses are legendary. Linda Allen (I saved her 1996 Olympic Games’ notes) 1st job in horse biz was ghost writing for J Michael Plumb-still the only eight time Olympic medalist for the US in any sport. Steve Stephens waxed poetic on nuance of stripe width, chevron vs ‘gangster,’ color use…
“…and Rolex crowns in various sizes that were put together to form starburst floral patterns.”- LA Pomeroy
TFS: If someone is planning a road trip into NYC, what are some of the must see equine art paintings/sculptures there?
LP: Start at the Met. The Horse Faire (as you’ve noted) is a masterpiece in person. Across the street is the Polo Lounge. Then I’d hit Central Park and its carousel – finely restored, a fast ride and real beauty. Also The Cloisters (adjunct to the Met) has the world’s finest collection of unicorn tapestries. Then over to the Hermes store. Yes, you can shop saddles in midtown Manhattan and if you’re lucky you’ll see the red ones…
I read that you studied Film Direction/Script Writing at Harvard. Have you made any of your own films/screenplays or did you work on any?
LP: LOL, not yet but there are still great horse stories out there yet to be told. I am collaborating with the founder of the IHSA Bob Cacchione on a book on the 50 year history of college riding. Aiming for 2018 for the books release just going thru 50 years of archival photos, etc was a year’s effort! So I have some writing in front of me this year…! Maybe I can make it an ‘illustrated novel’ instead!
“The Bronx baseball and bat in their prelim stages in Bobby’s KY workshop.” – LA Pomeroy
TFS: What are your tips for aspiring writers?
LP: Write every day. Writing is a muscle. The more you exercise it the easier it gets. I probably produce 500-2000 words daily and that’s my usual ‘extended trot.’
“Early Van Gogh inspiration for the pop art skyline fence.” LA Pomeroy
TFS: Any funny stories surrounding your articles?
LP: Around a podcast, yes! Asked a trainer to explain their philosophy just as a bad storm knocked my power out…took 20 minutes to get power back & online my trainer guest hadn’t noticed and was still talking about themselves!!!
TFS: Of all of the people you’ve interviewed, who were you excited to meet the most?
LP: I’m excited to meet ALL of them. And everyone puts their britches on one leg at a time like we all do.
TFS: You also work with the EQUUS Film Festival in NYC. How did this come about and what is your role?
LP: I worked with Diana DeRosa writing pre-event promo content, reviewed entries (yes all 140+!) & headed some panels. Equine art literature & film are playing increasing roles in winning new interest & viewers in the horse sport .
TFS: You’ve mentioned that you know a lot about equine carousels. Can you explain to us about the various horses and carvers when carousels were at their peak?
LP: Three schools: Primitive, Coney Island & Philadelphia. Philadelphia most realistic i.e. Dentzel cavalry horses. Coney Island most opulent, think gold leaf mane, tails, very active poses. Iconic NY Coney Island amusements/Coney Island carvers think Charles Loof, Marcus Ilions. Primitive carousels, think plain outstretched horses more easily stacked to travel & real horsehair tails.
The “Big Apple” Fence
TFS: Thinking of writing a memoir? It sounds like you have so many cool adventures that a book would be perfect!
LP: Or my own video channel series since I love bringing people along on the ride!
Thanks so much for a fun time on #equinearthour, LA! I am honored to call you my friend.