Pierre Bellocq, the renowned equestrian and political cartoonist known as Peb, will receive the fourth Robert & Anne Heighe Award for Excellence in Equestrian Journalism the evening of Friday, Oct. 2, at Harford Community College.
Leading up to the award, a Hays-Heighe House exhibit titled "Peb, at a Gallop: The Art of Pierre Bellocq," is open and features more than 50 cartoons, with topics ranging from horse racing to politics to civil rights. Included in the exhibit will be racing program covers, sketches never before published and original artwork.
Among the horse racing highlights are his cartoons featuring the connections of Secretariat; the great racehorses Cigar (born in Harford County), 2011 North American Thoroughbred Horse of the Year Havre de Grace (named after the Harford County city) and Rags to Riches (2007 Belmont winner), plus drawings of Hall of Fame jockeys Angel Cordero and Gary Stevens.
Also included in the exhibit will be the original study and cartoon of J. William Boniface, the Harford County co-owner/trainer of 1983 Preakness winner Deputed Testamony.
Several cartoons published by The Philadelphia Inquirer will be on display at the exhibit and illustrate the civil rights struggle of the 1960s. Also included in the exhibit will be a cartoon Peb completed earlier this year in support of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, after a terrorist attack on its offices.
The exhibit is curated by Maryanna Skowronski, director of the Historical Society of Harford County.
"Peb, at a Gallop: The Art of Pierre Bellocq" runs through Nov. 6. Hours are Tuesdays from 1 to 3 p.m.; Fridays from 10 a.m. to noon and first Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Admission to the exhibit during those times is free.
For more information, visit www.harford.edu/Peb or call 443-412-2539.
The Robert & Anne Heighe award is presented by the Hays-Heighe House, a public history site at Harford Community College. The Hays-Heighe House was the centerpiece of the Heighes' 225-acre Prospect Hill Farm, headquarters of their Thoroughbred breeding and racing operations from 1921 to 1953. The farm became the main campus of Harford Community College.
Past recipients of the award were the late William Boniface, the late Joseph Kelly and the late Humphrey S. Finney.
"Honoring Peb: An Evening of Art & Conversation" features the opportunity to view an exhibit of Peb's work from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Hays-Heighe House's galleries. The event moves to the Chesapeake Center Dining Room at 7 p.m. for the award presentation and a conversation with Peb as he reflects on his life and work. The conversation will be facilitated by Michael H.S. Finney, grandson of last year's award recipient, Humphrey S. Finney, and proprietor of Yoicks! in Saratoga Springs.
Also at the event, Peb's design for the program cover for the 30th anniversary of the Jim McKay Maryland Million Day at the Races will be unveiled.
Sponsors of the event include the Daily Racing Form, Jim McKay Maryland Million Day, Maryland Horse Breeders Association, Maryland Horse Industry Board and Maryland Jockey Club and Mr. and Mrs. Charles C. Fenwick Jr.
Peb has been the premier equine cartoonist in the United States for 60 years. A native of France, he came to the United States in 1954 to create the artwork for the Washington, D.C., International at the invitation of Laurel Race Course owner John D. Schapiro.
His first cartoon in the United States appeared in the Morning Telegraph (sister publication of the Daily Racing Form) on opening day of Jamaica Racetrack in New York in 1955. His work appeared in the Daily Racing Form for more than 50 years.
Peb also provided editorial cartoons for The Philadelphia Inquirer (which at one time had the same owner as the Daily Racing Form) and produced numerous cartoons illustrating the civil rights struggle and various social issues in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s.