Earlier this year, I was commissioned by Jo Ellard to create 4 pieces to be featured in the Do It Now, a new 100 ft Horizon Yacht. The US edition of Boat International magazine did a write up in their July/August Issue on Jo Ellard and her passion for boats and horses.
"Jo Ellard is passionate about two things that don't seem like a natural fit: horses and being on her boat. On Do It Now, her new yacht, she has combined them into an interior that she says is neither feminine nor masculine, contemporary nor classic, but "handsome." It's a far cry from the nautical or beach themes that are so frequent in yacht interiors and instead makes reference to the Western lifestyle Allard so enjoys.
Inside the yacht's open salon, a space remarkable for it's ceiling height and abundant beautifully stained oak, dark African mahogany floor and ranch-style furnishings, is an arresting picture of a horse with a shiny brown coat and handsome black mane. His name is Ichi La Roo, or Max, and he is Ellard's favorite horse. Most days the horse will be running in a paddock or kicking up sawdust in an arena filled with cattle, country music, whistles and camera flashes. But on one particular day, he found himself trotting around a photo studio and posing for fine art photographer Constance Jaeggi. Ellard wasn't planning on being part of the shoot but, as she shared a moment with the horse, the photographer, who rides competitively, convinced her the image would be a keeper.
She was right, "The Kiss", as they called the portrait, says a lot about the bond that exists between them. "He is a stallion, but he is so kind," Ellard says. "I one his father [Cat Ichi], his mother [Snicker Roo], his grandmother [Meradas Dee Jay] and his great grandmother on his mother's side [Laney Doc]." His grandfather (High Brow Cat) was the greatest sire of all time, she adds. "I did not grow up with horses but I love horses, always did, even when I was a child."