Over the years, Ralph Lauren has drawn inspiration from across the landscape of American style, from the dress codes of the Ivy League to the open skies of the Southwest to the golden age of Hollywood. But no influence is more central to the Ralph Lauren aesthetic than the equestrian lifestyle. And with good reason. There’s a poetry to the precision and choreographed elegance of an equestrian event, to the speed, grit, and athleticism of a polo match. There’s magic in the moment when a rider and his or her horse are working in harmony.
So, when Scott Rudin recently offered to shoot two of the world’s most prestigious equine events—the Hampton Classic Horse Show, in Bridgehampton, New York, and the East Coast Open polo tournament, in Greenwich, Connecticut—we had but one question: How much film do you need? (Like longtime Ralph Lauren contributor Bruce Weber, Rudin works exclusively with film, which helps explain the depth and detail of his images.) Take a tour through his photos below, and it will become immediately clear that the passion for all things equestrian runs as deep in the preppy enclaves of today as it did in the culture of the 19th century, when the sport of kings first caught on among New York’s society set.
- ALL PHOTOGRAPHS BY SCOTT RUDIN