"Our Medieval Horses" by Morris Simoncelli.
This photo of horses in the pasture at the Sands Point Preserve on the east side of Middle Neck Road was taken by Photography Club of Long Island (PCLI) member Morris G. Simoncelli, as part of the on-going monthly series of photos by PCLI members.
For years area residents who have driven along Middle Neck Road probably wondered about whose horses they were and why they were there. Popular, but erroneous, speculation was that they belonged to mounted units of Nassau County or Town of North Hempstead police. Research has revealed the owners to be Medieval Scenarios and Recreations, Inc. (MSR), the organization that has been putting on the Medieval Festival at the Sands Point Preserve for at least 15 years.
Cecily Terenka, vice president, Horse Project, of MSR, revealed the following: There are currently three horses, all geldings, at the pasture. They prefer to remain outdoors most of the time, although there is a shelter they can go under in case of heavy rain and are kept in a stable during heavy winter snow. Attended to daily, they are fed, groomed and ridden weekly from May through September. All are draft horses originally from Amish country in Pennsylvania and weigh in the neighborhood of 2,000 pounds each.
It is during the annual Medieval Festival that the horses put on their shows for the enjoyment of the attending public, by carrying "Knights" in full armor for jousts and display horsemanship that dates back hundreds of years to England and Europe. This year the Medieval Festival at the Sands Point Preserve will be held on Sept. 11, 12, 18 and 19. The remainder of the year the horses relax in their pasture, adding to the bucolic nature of Sands Point.
Simoncelli has been a PCLI member since early 1997. He has been actively involved in photography for over 50 years, with his specialties being travel, nature and sports.
He has won two major photography awards: The Gold Award in the humor category of the 1993 Society of American Travel Writers photo contest and the top award (Nikon Award) in the travel category of the 2003 Nippon Club's 100th anniversary photo contest in Manhattan.
Featured in a solo gallery exhibit at the Northwinds Coffee and Tea Company Gallery in Port Washington in 1999, Simoncelli has participated in PCLI group print exhibits at the Port Washington Public Library and at a group exhibit of the New York Press Photographer's Association in the early 1990's. His photos have also been part of the PCLI's annual May Musical Images Slide and Music Show at the library's Lapham Auditorium each year that he has been a member.
Simoncelli's photos have been published in travel magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times, New York Daily News, Chicago Sun Times and the Port Washington News.
His equipment of choice includes several Nikon cameras, with numerous lenses from 17 to 400mm, using Fuji Provia 100 slide film and Kodak Tri-X 400 black and white print film.
The PCLI holds two or three meetings each month between September and June, in either the Community Chest Building (Harold E. Mertz Community Center), 382 Main Street, Port Washington, or in the Lapham Meeting Room (auditorium) of the Port Washington Public Library, 1 Library Drive, Port Washington, featuring critiques, speakers and members' nights. The club's 2005-2006 season will begin on Sept. 7 with its annual season-opening Members' Night featuring "What I Did Over the Summer." Anyone interested in photography, or desiring to learn about this fascinating craft, is invited to join.