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Tailgating AS AN ART

Polo player and designer David Sloan splits his time between Roseview Dressage in Millbrook, New York, and Roseview Farms in Wellington, Florida.

_DSC7714His creative career is built upon re-purposing the unwanted into the showcased. A former Marine and international uranium trader who focused on the recycling of Cold War stockpiles of nuclear materials, David is now a resourceful creator of design and image. He accomplishes this by identifying innovative uses for industrial and architectural remnants, repurposing the forgotten and cast-off in a variety of equestrian and lifestyle settings.

The elements from architectural salvage become ideal pieces to hold bridles, saddles, girths, tail extensions, and all the other items of today’s high-end show world. Restored to highlight their amazing craftsmanship and accented with artful lighting, the pieces bring out the natural beauty of tack, coolers, halters, supplements, and storage for blankets and sheets.

_DSC7699Recently, Sloan created a series of tack rooms, wash stalls, and other work areas for the top hunter rider, Kelley Farmer. Each area is carefully designed to evoke an ambience, while still being highly functional for her large horse operation. Nothing is shiny, new, or fussy; each element has the character, depth, and patina of time. Upon entering one of the tack rooms, you might fancy yourself in a discerning London club. You find saddle racks with dramatic lighting, trophy cases fashioned from 100-year-old ornate door surrounds, and large-scale apothecary cabinets repurposed as back-lit bridle cases bearing European competition names such as Aachen, Saumur, and Verden. The effect is everyday tack, showcased as art. The focal point of one room is a circa-1920, illuminated movie-poster case re-purposed to display a most impressive collection of antique bits, curated by David and his team.

_K1_8078When not refurbishing buildings, David and his team re-purpose forgotten military and industrial trailers. (See video at top.) Under David’s watchful eye, junk-yard castoffs become 1920s field bars with modern sensibilities for corporate and individual clients, who use them at polo matches, hunt breakfasts, shooting parties, and other varied tailgating events. He has won many awards for these mobile field vehicles that cleverly house period tents, Persian rugs, and antique campaign furniture—essentially all that is needed to recreate a less formal version of Downton Abbey in the most unlikely locations. Casting a rare, rich, and authentic ambiance, these wagons have proven to be popular backdrops for television programs, various field competitions, and alfresco dinner parties. According to David, “There’s a lot of interest in history that’s not stuffy and formal and can actually be enjoyed by today’s enthusiasts. With our custom field vehicles as a backdrop, clients can host an event that masterfully offers a lifestyle experience that few, if any, can duplicate.”

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According to David, “There’s a lot of interest in history that’s not stuffy and formal and can actually be enjoyed by today’s enthusiasts. With our custom field vehicles as a backdrop, clients can host an event that masterfully offers a lifestyle experience that few, if any, can duplicate.”

You can contact David Sloan at roseviewdressage.com

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