Photos by my father
By night I slept at the very top of the modest little grandstand, built, as was the race-course, by stolidly British members of the district, who, like all the others of our immutable clan, were allergic to the absence of horses.
- Beryl Markham, West with the Night
For the first half of my life, as with birding, horses played a very big role. I starting riding as a little girl, competed in shows and loved my horse.
I certainly wasn’t the first generation in my family to share this obsession. My mother’s father and grandfather kept a stable filled with pleasure horses both for riding as well as racing, even through the Depression. I still have a horseshoe from my great-grandfather’s favorite horse.
I went to a great many horse shows throughout the years (where I was always envious of those who had RVs), including many trips to the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden. As a young teen, one of my closest friends had extensive facilities on her property, complete with an indoor ring. (Although the only time in my life that I have been stranded on the side of a highway was with this friend's family, in one of their Rolls Royces, on the way to a tack shop in Westport, Connecticut. Anonymous 10:18 of the last post, I may have included this detail for you.)
Some of my favorite pictures to this day are of the Middlebury Hunt Club taken by my father in Fairfield County, Connecticut in the 1960s. I am particularly fond of the outerwear, yet all of the details are wonderful. And neither the terrain nor the women are “overdone.”
Fairfield County has changed since these were taken in the 60s, of course. Greenwich is no longer Greenwich. But a high percentage of people I knew who lived in this pocket of Connecticut during this era now live on the coast of Maine, where they have thankfully brought with them much of the passion and (relatively speaking) low-key approach to such endeavors.