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The White Turf

The White Turf

Regular price $ 99,999.00
Regular price Sale price $ 99,999.00
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St. Moritz, Switzerland - 2023

56” x 88” Unframed 71” x 103” Framed Edition of 12
37” x 58” Unframed 52” x 73” Framed Edition of 12

I sense that this photograph will mean much more to those who live and holiday in St Moritz than it will to outsiders and that was always my preconception.

The White Turf horse races on the frozen lake below Badrutt’s Palace Hotel draw large crowds when they are held on three consecutive weekends every February. It is a spectacle and an occasion more than it is a blue riband international sporting event, but the community embraces it to the full. The lake is busy in February, it also hosts car races, polo and even cricket matches and Badrutt’s watches imperiously above it all.

My idea was to bring a horse and jockey into the famous bar at Badrutt’s and I sensed that the hotel management - led by the GM, Richard Leuenberger - would be open minded to this. It is one of the peculiarities of St Moritz that despite its wealth and excessive glamour, there is not a stuffiness to the town. Instead, there is a sense of heritage and a keenness to celebrate that heritage. Horses and jockeys are part of that and Richard - who was a wonderful partner throughout this project - agreed to the idea.

There are few hotel bars in the world that have the history and the lure of the Renaissance Bar at Badrutt’s. There are no real rules at the bar, smoking is permitted and there is no closing time. My team was quietly setting up one morning at dawn and I wondered where the noise was coming from. I should have thought harder - the bar was still open.

Richard was keen that some of the legendary figures among the Badrutt’s 800 strong staff were
part of the picture and I wholly agreed. Tenure of service is another distinguishing feature of this institution; I guess it must be difficult to leave.

I do hope that the hotel can find a place for this image, but I am up against an impressive art collection. ~ David Yarrow

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