Category Archives: Art/Photography

Int’l Museum of the Horse Shares Discoveries from History Harvests for African American Equestrians

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 30, 2019) – The International Museum of the Horse will hold a Shareback Session as a follow-up to the recent History Harvests. The event is free, open to the public, and will be held on Thursday, June 13, 6:00-7:00 pm, at the Lexington Public Library, Central Branch, in Meeting Room A. Museum staff will present highlights from the community contributions and share what has been learned from the objects and stories.

History Harvests were held on April 13 and May 18 at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center. The events provided opportunities for community participants to bring items that relate to African Americans working in the horse industry, to be scanned and photographed. Participants, volunteers, and staff held conversations and recorded oral histories as well. All participants were given a digital copy of their contributions.

The museum’s History Harvests are free, public events dedicated to uncovering, sharing, and digitizing items of historical significance for inclusion in the forthcoming website, the Chronicle of African Americans in the Horse Industry.

Community partners for the History Harvests included Phoenix Rising Lex and The Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center, who promoted the event in Lexington’s East End neighborhood. The museum plans to hold more History Harvests in additional communities. They also offer the option of recording oral histories at the museum or visiting contributors at their homes. To contribute to the project, email or call 859-259-4279.

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

To learn more, visit

Contact: Kerry Howe

Award-Winning Equestrian Journalist Diana De Rosa to Visit Because of Horses Friday, May 24

Photo courtesy of Diana De Rosa.

For over 35 years, veteran equestrian journalist, photographer, and public relations maven Diana De Rosa has covered equestrian sport around the world, including the past eight Olympic Games, all eight World Equestrian Games, several Pan Am Games, and FEI World Cups. Diana enjoys creating richly told stories through photography and writing and has over 1,000 published credits to her name.

Diana is the owner of Press Link, a public relations firm based in Farmingdale, New York. Her past and present clients include the Hampton Classic, National and Washington International Horse Shows, USA Equestrian Trust, Healthy Horse Boutique, Running Wild, Dream Works, the American Hunter Jumper Foundation, and Twentieth Century Fox. Diana worked with the late actor Christopher Reeve for eight years before his death in 2004.

A past president of American Horse Publications, Diana is also a longtime member of the International Alliance of Equestrian Journalists. She currently is on the executive board of the Press Club of Long Island. Diana’s work has taken her to 30 countries and has even led to a stint in front of the camera when she co-hosted the annual Hampton Classic Horse Show for local TV station WVVH. She was presented with the 2005 US Equestrian Federation Media Award for Photography in recognition of a photo of show jumper Peter Wylde and Fein Cera competing at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Diana dedicated her win to Reeve.

Diana is the co-organizer of the EQUUS Film Festival, held annually in New York City with tour stops around the United States. Notable recent tour appearances by the Festival included the 2017 World Cup in Omaha, Nebraska and the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina.

Diana is a former riding school manager and a graduate of SUNY Albany, where she studied languages.

For more information, go to

Casares Portraits Immortalize Equine Rescue Efforts

Wellington, FL (April 17, 2019) – From kill pen to pony stardom: Coconut the rescue pony takes center stage in another spectacular photo shoot by Ramon Casares of Casares Fine Art Photography. Designed to immortalize the incredible journey of this equine and her rescuers, Casares’ trademark chiaroscuro shoot with Coconut combined dramatic stage lighting and his eye for artistic photography to create a stunning portrait and to transcend the connection between man and horse. Coconut, who is now in training to be a child’s polo pony, has also learned a few tricks along the rescue journey, including how to bow. As a fitting expression of her gratitude to her rescuers, Casares captured this pony’s bow in his typical fashion: with art and illumination.

The coming 4-year-old mare was rescued from a kill pen in 2017 by Pamela Flanagan and Rob Journayvaz. Both are polo players and enthusiasts, and sent the then feral Coconut to their close friend and trainer Jillian DeGeorge, who they give the most credit for turning Coco into the sweet and playful pony she is today. Recently started under saddle, Coconut’s training has focused on the polo basics, so that she may transfer that knowledge to her young riders. Flanagan, who is also an attorney, has made rescuing equines a passion to compliment her love for polo. Over the past year, Coconut has evolved from sensitive and skittish to trusting and brave, which is emphasized in her brilliant portraits. Casares’ stunning images, photographed so that she is the only source of light and detail, shine as bright as this little pony’s future.

Coconut’s shoot with Casares follows in a long line of rescued wildlife and sport horse portraits that have defined Casares’ work. Building on influences from his background as a native of Argentina and career as an exotic animal caregiver at the country’s largest zoo, Casares expanded his photographic talents to include all species of creature, from human and equine to possum and crocodile. He has photographed animals from nearly every phylum, class, and order in the animal kingdom. With Casares Fine Art Photography appearing across the globe and garnering international acclaim, his images have captured the imagination of audiences at major media outlets and international art shows.

But despite his passion for the horses and traditional commissioned work, Casares’ portrait style images of nature’s rarest and most common species are the artist’s true accomplishment and calling card, along with his trademark style devoid of background distractions and illuminated to detail each whisker, feather, or scale. Casares captures an essence with each image that underscores his own passion and vision as a photographer and conservationist. As a former keeper for the Buenos Aires Zoo, Casares was witness to the beauty, ferocity, and fragility of the animal kingdom firsthand. During the evolution of his photographic career, he began to visit wildlife rescues to document the plight of their patients. Realizing his images could generate support and awareness for those injured and recuperating commonplace species, as well as those who are in danger of extinction, Casares embarked on a mission to unite his talent for photography with his passion for conservation. BROKEN was the result.

Combining Casares’ distinctive artistic style and the plight of rescued animals, BROKEN is the final product of 3 years’ worth of photography, the resilience of each animal, and the selfless efforts of their rescuers. In the oversized fine art book, the saga of each animal is told beside their stunning and emotionally evocative images with the goal of bringing awareness to their struggle and rehabilitation. An ever-growing endeavor, Casares intends to expand the Broken: Rescued Wildlife Fine Art Project to multiple countries and continents to maximize awareness and resources for endangered wildlife.

For more information on Casares Fine Art Photography or BROKEN, visit

Media contact:
PR and Marketing
Holly Johnson
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
+1 954 205 7992

“Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to Derby” 2019 Concludes with Final Chapeau of the Season

Dagmar Galleithner-Steiner, Nicanor, Joe Steiner, and son Jonah model the newest “Hats Off to the Derby” chapeau (Photo: Barbara D. Livingston)

New Hat Honors Old Friends Retiree Nicanor

For the 10th consecutive year, Maggie Mae Designs® and Old Friends are teaming up for an unparalleled online shopping experience. “Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby” is a unique Derby-hat fundraiser featuring one-of-a-kind couture Derby hats created by MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® to benefit Old Friends.

This new hat pays tribute to Nicanor, a stakes-placed runner who is better known as the full brother of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro. Nicanor now resides at Old Friends, and this lovely hat uses the blue, lime, and white racing-silk colors of former owners Roy and Gretchen Jackson’s Lael Stables.

The Kentucky-bred Nicanor (Dynaformer – La Ville Rouge, Carson City) was trained by Michael Matz and ridden by several jockeys, including Barbaro rider Edgar Prado. In his 18 starts he captured 4 wins, including a 15 1/4 lengths victory at Delaware Park.

Nicanor entered stud in 2013 at Shamrock Farm in Woodbine, MD and retired to Old Friends in the spring of 2018.

For this lovely hat, Maggie Mae Designs® milliner Sally Faith Steinmann uses a foundation of white dupioni silk overlaid with three wavy layers of silk organza that is top stitched with chocolate thread. The hat is adorned with a large, two-tone, blue silk organza Marguerite fleur, highlighted by a chocolate rose curl at the center that is nestled in a medley of lime organza and taffeta leaves.

The hat is completed by a white brocade under brim that lends a soft, elegant effect around the wearer’s upturned face. And, as always, a physical remembrance — several strands of the horse’s tail hair — were woven into the trim, creating a truly unique, one-of-a-kind Derby chapeau.

The “Nicanor” chapeau is up for bid from April 1st at 8 pm through April 11th at 8 pm. All proceeds from the sale go to Old Friends.


To read more about Nicanor, the horse, please CLICK HERE

For more information: (502) 863-1775;;

International Museum of the Horse Hosts Community History Harvests for African American Equestrians

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 12, 2019) – The International Museum of the Horse is pleased to announce two upcoming opportunities to preserve the legacy of African Americans in the equine industry. History Harvests will be held on April 13 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and on May 18 from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center at 300 East 3rd Street, Lexington, KY 40508.

The events provide opportunities for community participants to bring items that relate to African Americans working with horses to the Lyric Theatre to be scanned and photographed. A conversation station and refreshments will encourage attendees to connect with each other and discuss their images, documents, and memorabilia. At the May event, there will be appointments available to record oral histories. To sign up for an oral history time, email

The History Harvests are free, public events dedicated to uncovering, sharing, and digitizing items of historical significance for inclusion in the forthcoming website, the Chronicle of African Americans in the Horse Industry. All participants will also be given a digital copy of their contributions to keep. The museum does not keep the participant’s items. Only scanned images, digital photographs, or audio recordings will be archived, with permission, for future use on the website.

Community partners for the event include Phoenix Rising Lex and the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center, who are promoting the event in Lexington’s East End neighborhood. This area is significant to hold the first History Harvests, as the East End was home to the Kentucky Association racetrack, a source of steady employment for the influx of African Americans into Lexington between 1860-1870.

The IMH plans to hold more History Harvests in additional communities. They also offer the option of recording oral histories at the museum or visiting contributors at their home.

To learn more, visit

Contact: Kerry Howe

Suzie Burgess’s Life-Size Art to Be Featured at Temecula Valley National Horse Show

Temecula, Calif. – Feb. 14, 2019 – With little more than two months until the first week of the flagship circuit, Nilforushan Equisport Events is ecstatic to announce that a series of exquisite life-size equestrian artworks from Suzie Burgess Art will adorn the VIP Tent at the Temecula Valley National Horse Show Series. A California-based painter renowned for her realistic depictions of horses, Burgess has graciously partnered with the Nilforushan management team to allow for a display of her beautiful pieces. Coupled with the thrilling sport and comfortable atmosphere that the Temecula Valley National Horse Shows foster, Burgess’s works will make the perfect addition to add to the appeal of the four-week long series.

“We are so thrilled to display Suzie’s incredible works inside of our VIP Tent at the upcoming horse show series. Much more than simply a way to enhance the venue, her equestrian works are captivating, and we expect them to be highlights and focal points of conversation, as they will surely draw eyes in the VIP space. I can’t wait for exhibitors and spectators to stand beside one of her life-size portraits and fall in love with them just as we have!” said Francie Nilforushan, one of the owners and managers of Nilforushan Equisport Events.

A lifelong horse lover, Burgess has transformed her passion into tangible results to become a growing name in the equestrian art sphere. Her masterpieces from various collections have been spotlighted at multiple showings on the West Coast, and her life-size portraits have most especially earned acclaim. An expert at completing realistic commissioned paintings as well as original work, Burgess is able to capture the intricacies of the equine spirit that can be enjoyed for lifetimes.

“My paintings enable the viewer to truly experience the horse on canvas. I paint these animals life-size, because I love being in their presence. Showing my work at Galway Downs is exciting to me because it’s a celebration of that mysterious connection we have with our horses, and what better place for these paintings to be viewed than around people who live and breathe that reality,” commented Suzie Burgess.

For more info please visit or

Enter Silver Charm’s Silver Anniversary Card Challenge

Photo by Rick Capone.

It’s Silver Charm’s Silver Jubilee

On February 22nd dual-classic winner Silver Charm will turn 25, and we’d like you to help Old Friends celebrate this special milestone.

Silver Charm doesn’t care much for traditional gifts – shiny bling or etched keepsakes. But what better way to say Happy Birthday to a Hall of Famer than with a personalized greeting card?

Because we know all of his fans out there care enough to send the very best, we’re launching the Silver Charm Birthday Card Challenge!

Get out your construction paper, colored markers, Crayolas, finger paints, Black & Decker, or whatever artistic medium suits you best and create a birthday card befitting a Kentucky Derby Champion.

We will accept physical cards or those created in a digital format. A panel of Old Friends judges will award the best card in each category with an autographed picture of Silver Charm by Eclipse Award-winning photographer Barbara Livingston.

Entries will be displayed and winners named at a special celebratory event at Old Friends Farm in Georgetown on Friday February 22nd from 1-4 pm.

The public is welcome to come and celebrate this very Silver Anniversary with us. Food and beverages will be served.

For more information: (502) 863-1775;

Hats Off to the Horses: Bint Marscay

Honoring the life of our sweet BINT MARSCAY. Another gorgeous couture creation from Sally at MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS®. All proceeds benefit Old Friends. Special thanks to jockey Chris Landeros, his wife Shelby, and son Beckham for modeling. As always, thanks to chief photographer for Daily Racing Form and 6-time Eclipse Award winner, Barbara D. Livingston, for her stunning images. Auction ends Feb 11 at 8pm EST. These hats have raised over $35k for Old Friends!  Click to bid.

Click for more about this hat.

Click to learn about Bint Marscay.

Click to learn about the annual hat program.

For more information: (502) 863-1775;

13th Annual Black and White Spider Awards Honors Equine Photographer Diana De Rosa

LOS ANGELES – February 21, 2019 – Professional equine photographer Diana De Rosa from Long Island, New York was presented with the 13th Annual Black and White Spider Awards Nominee title in the sport category at the prestigious Nomination & Winners PhotoShow streamed Saturday, November 10, 2018.

The live online gala was attended by over 17,000 photography fans around the globe who logged on to watch the climax of the industry’s most important event for black and white photography. The 13th Annual Jury members included captains of the industry from Penguin Random House, London; Contrasto Galleria, Milan; Young & Rubicam, Lima; Harper’s Bazaar, UK; Victoria Film Festival, Canada; Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brussels; Silvan Faessler Fine Art, Zurich; Time Inc., London; Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna; Conny Dietzschold Galleries, Cologne; and Fratelli Alinari Photography Museum in Florence who honored Spider Fellows with 692 coveted title awards and 952 nominees in 32 categories.

“Once again, another stunning collection of high-quality entries both professional and amateur. It’s always inspiring to see this classic medium being stretched into new and interesting directions,” said juror Marcel Wijnen, Creative Director at Anthem Worldwide/Marque Branding in Sydney. Cultural Heritage Consultant Andrea de Polo from Fratelli Alinari Photography Museum in Florence added, “The quality of work is incredible and for the jury selecting the best images is very hard work.”

“It’s an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the 6,404 entries we received this year,” said Basil O’Brien, the awards Creative Director. “Diana De Rosa’s Polo Power, an exceptional image entered in the sport category, represents black and white photography at its finest, and we’re pleased to present her with the title of Nominee.”

De Rosa is a veteran equestrian journalist, who has traveled the world and has recorded equestrian history for over 35 years. A language major in college, De Rosa went on to run a riding school, then was editor of an equine magazine for 13 years, and eventually focused on her writing and photography.  She has over 1000 published stories and photos to her credit.

She is the past president of the American Horse Publications and is on the Executive Board of the Press Club of Long Island.

A long-time member of The International Alliance of Equestrian Journalists, De Rosa has been one of the few journalists to be credentialed to cover the past eight Olympic Games (including being on assignment for USA Today for the 1992 Olympics).  She has also covered or been on staff at every World Equestrian Games, numerous Pan American Games and World Cups.

Besides being a writer & photographer, De Rosa also does PR. Some past and present clients include the Hampton Classic, National and Washington International Horse Shows, USA Equestrian Trust, Healthy Horse Boutique, Running Wild, DreamWorks, the American Hunter-Jumper Foundation, and 20th Century Fox.

For ten years De Rosa co-hosted the annual Hampton Classic Horse Show for the local Hamptons’ TV Station WVVH.  She also does some radio reporting and voiceovers.  De Rosa enjoys bringing life to her many equestrian stories through her camera lens and keyboard.  For eight years until his death on October 11, 2004, she worked with the famed Christopher Reeve.

De Rosa is co-organizer of the EQUUS Film Festival, which takes place annually in New York City, with tour stops around the US, including the 2017 World Cup in Omaha, NE and the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, NC. She also spent part of the 2017 winter taking photos for the Equestrians Got Talent, Althea and at the International Polo Club in Wellington, FL, which is where she captured this polo power moment.

De Rosa is a part time actress and a SAG-AFTRA union member. She has performed in parodies, music videos, was a side-kick on a cooking show, appeared on The Food Network, featured on Gotham and Oceans 8 and much more. De Rosa is single and calls home Huntington, LI, NY.

BLACK AND WHITE SPIDER AWARDS is the leading international award honoring excellence in black and white photography. This celebrated event shines a spotlight on the best professional and amateur photographers worldwide and honors the finest images with the highest achievements in black and white photography.

CONTACT: Press Link/Diana De Rosa,, 516-848-4867

Wellington Schools Unite for the Great Charity Challenge

Palm Beach Central High School’s chalk art creation from 2017’s GCC.

Ringside Chalk Art Festival and Special Performance Pairs Young Talent and Philanthropy

Wellington, FL – January 23, 2019 – At the heart of the Winter Equestrian Capital of the World, the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL has welcomed local elementary, middle, and high schools for the last seven years, showcasing their talents to thousands of spectators during the twelve-week season. With the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival underway, this year’s initiatives have been announced. Additional to each school being individually featured during the season, all 12 schools will unite for the 2019 Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments® (GCC), on Saturday, February 2.

This year’s event theme of “We Are the World” will focus on promoting unity and celebrate the cultural differences in our community. A Ringside Chalk Art Festival, honoring young talent and Palm Beach County philanthropy, will celebrate, inspire, and encourage the creative expressions of the students and their teachers while empowering the participants of the 2019 GCC.

From horse statue decorations to mini-jump creations, the 12 public schools in Wellington have showcased their diversity and imagination via annual projects at PBIEC over the years. The proposed initiative is available for students in first through 12th grades.

Each Wellington school will be provided with a 4-foot by 6-foot giant chalkboard and have three hours to bring their creation to life, showcasing what the several charitable causes represented that evening means to them. A panel of judges composed of Carolina King, President of the Wellington Art Society (WAS), Leslie Pfeiffer, WAS Development Chair, Laurie Snow Hein, Award winning Florida Artist, and Jen Hernandez, local business owner of Art Cellar will facilitate the judging process and present the awards. The GCC guarantees a minimum of a $1,000 donation to each school’s art department for participating.

Furthermore, the choirs of Palm Beach Central High School and Wellington High School, under the leadership of Mr. Scott Houchins and Mr. Bradford Chase, respectively, will join forces in an unprecedented performance that is sure to leave the public inspired.

The 2019 GCC will distribute $1+ million to local charities. This year’s event is sure to entertain adults and children alike, with riders dressed up in costumes and horses adorned to match them, featuring the theme “We Are the World.”

“On behalf of Equestrian Sport Productions and Wellington Equestrian Partners, we look forward to welcoming the 2019 participants of the GCC as well as the Wellington public schools. Highlighting the power of partnerships in creating true change, the talent and imagination of the students joining us will remind us all that anyone can indeed ‘be the change they wish to see in the world,'” stated Paige Bellissimo.

The GCC, founded in 2010 by the Bellissimo family of Equestrian Sport Productions, has distributed $12.2 million from the equestrian community to more than 230 non-profits in Palm Beach County over the last nine years. The Wellington PTA/PTO is the only group to receive an automatic admission into the event every year and has received well over $480,000 to date.

The GCC competition at the Winter Equestrian Festival will offer free General Admission and will be held Saturday evening, February 2, 2019, at 6:00 PM. Free parking will be located at 13500 South Shore Blvd., Wellington, FL 33414.

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