Monmouth County, New Jersey is horse country. We have a rich history of equestrian sports, the most notable of which is horse racing. Whether you support thoroughbred racing or not, it’s hard not to run into someone that rides a thoroughbred, lives near a horse farm, or even owns a racehorse.
The racetrack brings an interesting array of people from all over. People watching is almost as fun as the horse racing. On a cloudy, Saturday in July, the ladies take back the racetrack for Ladies Day at Monmouth Park, sponsored by Lilly Pulitzer.
Now for those of you who know me well, I am the opposite of a Lilly Pulitzer girl. My friend literally laughed out loud when I told her I was going. I love color in my photography, but I am usually wearing dark colors. All year round. Think- urban hippie. Fun with an edge. What I would give to have an equestrian brand truly step away from the preppy vibes of old. But I knew the colors would be amazing to photograph.
I did have to take a break or two though….
Of course, while Ladies Day was front and center, this was still a family-friendly event.
It would be a shame to photograph only the attendees. After all, I’m surrounded by the most amazing athletes of the equestrian world- thoroughbreds!
I know very little about thoroughbred racing in general. It is not something that I am a big supporter of, because as an equine massage therapist I do not believe horses should be backed so young while they are still growing. However, it is hard to argue the beauty of a thoroughbred in movement.
One thing you will notice at all races are the amazing outriders. These horse and rider teams keep the thoroughbred safe and calm. As one Monmouth Park outrider described to her young admirers of her mount, “Kenny is a babysitter”.
A day at the racetrack is not all horses and gambling, although that is definitely a huge part of it. Ladies Day sponsored by Lilly Pulitzer hosted a fashion show and the day was dedicated to raising money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Ladies Day at Monmouth Park was a colorful event on an otherwise cloudy day here on the Jersey Shore. The following day was the biggest day of the season- the 50th Haskell Invitational! Sadly, I was unable to attend. I have quite a respect for the Haskell family and Jersey-bred contender Irish War Cry.