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Nobody's Little Mrs.

Category: Sporting

Happy #OaksDay 2017!

Happy Kentucky Oaks Day everyone!

I know that the entire world waits until the first Saturday in May and the Run for the Roses, but the first Friday in May and the Run for the Lilies is just the best day to celebrate all fabulous fillies!!

Enjoy!

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Walkin’ the Dogs . . . Well, Hounds.

Foxhunting is something that I’ve been intrigued with for years now. While I’ve not had a lifestyle that permitted me to join the field, living somewhere again with an active hunt club (two, actually, here in the Lexington area) makes the opportunity to learn about the sport very accessible.

Recently, compliments of a foxhunting friend, I went on my first Iroquois Hunt hound walk. Simply put, a hound walk is a walk through hunt country with a pack of hounds of varying ages and experience to teach them the lay of the land and to learn about their individual personalities.

While the Master of Foxhounds (MFH) and huntsman will walk with the scent-hungry hounds, there will also likely be a few mounted foxhunters along to turn the hounds should they not respond to the call of the MFH, or to seek out the occasional wandering novice hound.

On this particular day we were five on foot and three mounted with eleven couple (hounds are counted in pairs, so twenty-two) of foxhounds. And tried as I might have, I couldn’t resist uttering the words “Release the hounds!” when I saw the doors of the trailer open and the pack burst out.

Photo by Melaina Balbo Phipps

We walked across the field over the hilly landscape while the hound advanced and retreated to the sound of the MFH’s prompts and horn blows.

    Photo by Melaina Balbo Phipps

They will survey the land . . .

Photo by Melaina Balbo Phipps

and when they come back in . . .

     Photo by Melaina Balbo Phipps
 they are amply rewarded by the MFH with treats from her bottomless leather satchel. And it’s every hound for himself!
Sometimes a hound–or a couple–will stray. It’s understandable for the novice hounds in the pack–so many scents to follow! 
To facilitate the tracking of wayward hounds, each one is outfitted with GPS collars, like these . . . 
Photos by Melaina Balbo Phipps

The fields were wide and very inviting to roam . . . 
   Photo by Melaina Balbo Phipps
    Photo by Melaina Balbo Phipps
and, understandably, we were not the only ones enjoying the countryside that day. 
It seems that as much curiosity as was aroused in the hounds by the scents and the sights was also aroused in the herd of cattle that decided to take a break from their grazing and stalk us around the fields . . . 
    Photo by Melaina Balbo Phipps
They were definitely interested in what we were doing out there, in what I can only surmise they considered their land.
For such a large herd they were fairly stealthy.
    Photo by Melaina Balbo Phipps
and they kept their distance . . . mostly.
    Photo by Melaina Balbo Phipps
But for as gentle as these bovines can be, there is something very imposing about turning around and seeing this . . . 
    Photo by Melaina Balbo Phipps
And I’ve learned that you shouldn’t let their languor fool you, they can catch up pretty quickly when they want.

                     Photo by Melaina Balbo Phipps
After a couple of hours and with all hounds accounted for we made it back to the trailers and cars, a successful hound walk complete.
Hounds were happy to relax after a good morning’s work . . . 

    Photo by Melaina Balbo Phipps

    Photo by Melaina Balbo Phipps
but the cattle seemed to want us to stay a bit longer . . . 
                      Photo by Melaina Balbo Phipps
I guess that means they won’t mind if we come back. 
A great many thanks to my friend for taking me out, the MFH for the beginnings of my foxhunting education, and our host for the access to enjoy his beautiful piece of pasture!
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Belmont Stakes Day, 7 June 2014

Belmont Stakes Day, 7 June 2014
Only one day remains before California Chrome makes his bid to be the first Triple Crown winner in thirty-six years. 

Whether you find yourself at Belmont Park or watching the Belmont Stakes  from afar,  let everyone know who you’re cheering for by wearing the purple and green colors of his Dumbass Partners silks.

Clearly, his owners and trainer Art Sherman are anything but dumbasses. The story is truly the stuff of fairy tales, and I for one hope the racing gods are ready to give California Chrome and his connections a happy ending.

While you watch this third leg of the Triple Crown, be sure to sip on the official cocktail of the Belmont Stakes, the Belmont Jewel.

Enjoy your day at the Belmont Stakes, wherever you may be. 
And, of course . . . Go, California Chrome, Go!


Dress: Lanvin; Shoes: Christian Louboutin; Purse: Chanel; Sunglasses: Tom Ford; Scarf: Dsquared2; Peacock Feather Fascinator: SeasonsOnline.UK; Necklace: ALDO; Nail Lacquer: NARS.
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Happy Preakness Stakes Day!

Happy Preakness Stakes Day!
It’s mid-May and the second race of the Triple Crown is upon us. Personally, I’m rooting for California Chrome. I think he can do it and I’m not alone. Let’s just hope the racing gods agree!
Go, California Chrome, Go!!!
Dress: Zara; Shoes: Kate Spade; Handbag: Chanel (vintage); Bangle: Cartier.
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Spring in Her Step

My Violin after morning training at Carriage Station Farm in Lexington, Ky.

After a very long and very cold winter in Lexington, spring is finally in the air, as well as in the step of my eight-year-old Thoroughbred mare, My Violin. Just as spring renews our gardens and our spirits, this year it also brings new beginnings for Violin.
My Violin started her re-training this month after taking the last year off from a long career at the track. I’m not sure yet just how, exactly, we will spend our time as partners, but I think I’ll leave the decision up to her. Judging by her race record, she didn’t care so much for the track, so I’m happy to do whatever she enjoys most.
She’s in the hands of a great trainer and it’s wonderful to see her in engaged and working. It certainly makes me look forward to seeing her blossom in a second, and better-suited career.
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Kentucky Oaks 2014

Kentucky Oaks 2014

Each year, on the eve of the Kentucky Derby–one of the most prestigious tests for 3-year-old colts in Thoroughbred racing, Churchill Downs plays host to the Kentucky Oaks, an equally glorious competition for 3-year-old fillies. Today is that day, the First Friday in May. And while there are endless reasons to talk about the race card and the horses, there’s no denying that a race day like Oaks Day brings out the style maven in a good many ladies at the track.

Taking advantage of the strong female presence on the track, Oaks day has become an opportunity to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer and to honor survivors with an annual Survivors Parade. Racing fans also show their support by wearing pink and sipping on the traditional Kentucky Oaks cocktail, the Oaks Lily (a portion of the proceeds from sales of the Oaks Lily is donated to breast cancer research, so consider it drinking for the cause).

While pink can sometimes seem a bit too girly for those of us no longer in our twenties, a classic style like this Valentino dress will adapt to just about any woman’s style.

And while you’re getting ready, you might very well get thirsty . . .  

Here’s the recipe for the Kentucky Oaks official drink:

Kentucky Oaks Lily:

  • 1 oz. Grey Goose vodka
  • 1 oz. Sweet and Sour Mix
  • 3 oz. Cranberry Juice
  • Splash of Triple Sec 

Once the ingredients are mixed, place the Grey Goose® Oaks Lily® in a tall glass with crushed ice, add a straw and garnish with an orange wedge and cherry.



Dress: Valentino; Shoes: Christian Louboutin; Handbag: Louis Vuitton; Silk Scarf: Jonathan Adler; Fascinator: Etsy.com


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