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Behind-the-Scenes Book on Wellington's Winter Equestrian Festival to Debut at Denim and Diamonds on Sunday, February 15

Vicky Moon, author and equestrienne, will be signing the first copies of her new book A Sunday Horse about the celebrity and character-packed Winter Equestrian Festival.

A Sunday Horse: Inside the Grand Prix Show Jumping Circuit
Vicky Moon
March 2004 ISBN 1-931868-41-7 $25.00
6" x 9", Cloth, 224 pp. + 70 black and white photos

"A Sunday Horse gives a no-holds-barred insight to the behind the scenes of the humans and the horses."
- Snowden Clarke, trainer and rider, The Plains, Virginia

As part of the many festivities planned for the spectacular Denim & Diamonds gala to benefit the United States Equestrian Team (USET) on Sunday, Feb 15, a new book "A Sunday Horse: Inside the Grand Prix Show Jumping Circuit" will debut.
The hottest party in Palm Beach County will take place at The South Florida Expo Center at The South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach. According to producers and chairmen Mason Phelps, Jr. and Beverly Lake Wilkes this year's event "Denim & Diamonds: Back to the Future" will be brought to life by event-planner extraordinaire Bruce Sutka. The USET, historically the beneficiary of Denim & Diamonds, will once again be the 2004 beneficiary. During the event's successful, prior six-year run, over $1 million was raised for the USET. With the upcoming 2004 Olympic Games in Athens right around the corner, the timing is ideal to bring back this major fund-raiser.
In keeping with Denim & Diamonds' tradition, there will also be a high-end silent auction where author Vicky Moon will be signing the first copies of her new book hot off the press.
According to Moon, children of celebrities, illegal immigrant workers, large corporation heirs and members of royalty all meet in one place - Wellington's Winter Equestrian Festival, the beginning of the Grand Prix Show Jumping Circuit Season. "During the winter show season more than $3 million in prizes will be offered in Wellington. The horse population swells with over 4,000 horses brought in on gleaming tractor-trailers, utilitarian horse rigs and a few by cross-country jet to the tune of a one way ride for $3,000. With the horses, there are 6,000 others including riders, trainers, owners, anxious mothers, nannies and other hangers on," says writer Vicky Moon, a long-time equestrienne and the author of the upcoming book A Sunday Horse: Inside the Grand Prix Show Jumping Circuit.

Vicky Moon describes this intricate dance of horse competitions, swanky charity fundraisers, and the likes of Johnnie Cochran, Bruce Springsteen, Dan Marino, and Michael Bloomberg rubbing shoulders with sports hypnotists and stable staff. Vicky explains, "In addition to the hoity toity and the hoi poli, we have the haughty and the naughty. Among the other members of the Grand Prix troupe: numerous big league corporate movers and shakers from the pages of Forbes and Fortune and their very pretty (usually blonde) horse loving daughters, a traveling salesman who specializes in carrots, numerous veterinarians, a sports hypnotist and many merchants who sell anything and everything with a horse or snaffle bit on it."

? And then there is the very tender story of 96-year-old photographer Budd, still alive and kicking in New York City. Moon relates how well known artist Henri Moore was inspired by his work along with Budd's fascinating connection with many famous artists. It promises to be an eye opener to many long time horse show folks, with many vintage photos too.

In A Sunday Horse, Vicky Moon illustrates what Winter Equestrian Festival attendees are likely to see and to miss from behind the scenes. Other Festival scenes Vicky Moon spotlights in A Sunday Horse are:
The history of the Festival. "The Sunshine Circuit (now the Winter Equestrian Festival) originally took place at a number of stops in Florida: Delray Beach, Winter Haven, Gainesville, Miami, Boca Raton and Palm Beach. The shows were then held at the polo grounds until they outgrew the space."
" The dwellings of participants and attendees, from mansions to trailers. "All around the far reaches of Welly World, horses park in a precious piece of shade, some stand under chicken huts custom built by the Seminole Indians….If a larger house is what you're looking for, there's the $25 million Mida Farm mansion owned by Isaac Argetty where the 2003 ABC television reality series, 'The Family,' starring the eternally tan and seemingly ageless George Hamilton, was taped."
" Celebrity sightings. "Television anchor Lou Dobbs joins the ranks of waiting fathers with his fourteen-year-old twin daughters Heather and Hillary, who ride with trainer Missy Clark of Warren, Vermont…Glenn Close is not far off when her daughter trained by Peter Lutz of Katonah, New York, appears in the show ring."
" Several juicy scandals including… the strange case of veterinarian Cathy Crighton, accused of allegedly stealing two horses and then spray-painting their legs, she is dubbed the Rust-Oleum Rustler by Moon. She awaits trial.
" Then there are more stories. Physical therapist Michele Altemus and The Perfect Balance for Equestrians, sports hypnotist Laura Boyton King, The Carrot Man Walter Chiveral, and a day in the life of a top groom.

The list of chapters: Money and Mosquitoes, A Box of Chocolates, Paint by Numbers, Mad(den) About You, HITS?, Word of Mouth, Who's Gonna Sit With The Prince?, Where Champions Meet, The Oldest Horse Show in the United States, Trials and Tribulations, Hob Snobbing and Deep Throat Meets Mister Ed. Finally, the epilogue "The Boys " written with veteran California journalist Judith Spreckels.

Vicky Moon has chronicled the lives of the rich, the not-so-rich, the famous, and the not-so-famous for more than twenty years. She has covered her hometown of Middleburg, Virginia's local murders and prominent lives for People Magazine and the Washington Post. She has also written about Middleburg's hunt balls, steeplechase races and parties for Town and Country, Millionaire and Southern Accents magazines and has served as a contributing editor for House and Garden. Ms. Moon is the author of The Official Middleburg Life Cookbook, The Middleburg Mystique: A Peek Inside the Gates of Middleburg, Virginia (Capital, 2001); and Best Dressed Southern Salads (Capital, 2002). Vicky lives in Middleburg, Virginia, with her husband, sportswriter Leonard Shapiro, and their son.


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