The new Pegasus World Cup Invitational, the world’s richest horse race was held on Saturday, January 28, 2017, at Gulfstream Park, Miami, Florida, in front of 17,000 horse race fans. The 2016 Breeders Cup Classic champion thoroughbred “Arrogate” triumphed once again for Prince Khalid bin Abdullah Al Saud, Owner of Juddmonte Farms Inc, (Lexington, Kentucky) receiving $7 million of the $12 million purse, and the Pegasus World Cup hand-engraved crystal trophy by artist, Mark Raynes Roberts
The vision of Belinda Stronach, Chairman, The Stronach Group, and her father Frank Stronach, Founder & Honorary Chairman, the Pegasus World Cup Invitational, is a game changing event, surpassing the Dubai Gold Cup and becoming the world’s premier thoroughbred horse race run over a mile and an 1/8.” The 12 places in the starting gate were purchased for $1 million apiece and the profits from the entire day divided up among the gate owners, with the $12 million in entry fees making up the race’s purse.
Designing the new Pegasus World Cup Invitational crystal trophy was a wonderful opportunity for crystal artist and designer, Mark Raynes Roberts, to employ his skill and 35 years of experience, having worked closely with many Fortune 500 companies, and having designed numerous sporting trophies for such events as the WTA and ATP Rogers Cup tennis tournaments, (Toronto and Montreal) Honda Challenge Masters, (London, England) Molson Indy, (Toronto and Vancouver) Molson Million Horse Race, (Toronto) and Bell Challenge tennis tournament. (Quebec City)
Belinda and Frank Stronach commissioned Raynes Roberts to create the inaugural Pegasus World Cup Invitational crystal trophy, having already worked with the artist for over 30 years on other artworks. Inspired by the 112ft tall “Pegasus” bronze sculpture, (Raynes Roberts began the design process) the world’s tallest equine sculpture located at Gulfstream Park, and part of a long term strategy to attract a new horse racing audience to the sport through the development of casino entertainment, luxury shops and galleries. The bronze Pegasus sculpture being part of a family oriented theme park being developed on the property.
The Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakeholders, together with The Stronach Group, are on the leading edge of an industry game-changing catalyst to modernize the sport and engage a new generation of fans. The inaugural running of this industry-leading thoroughbred invitational exemplifies The Stronach Group’s commitment to modernizing and elevating the sport of horse racing for the next generation of fans, while providing lucrative opportunities for thoroughbred owners.
The newly designed crystal trophy stands 24″ tall, is 12 3/4″ wide and weighs 112lbs, and combines ten hand-cut pieces of optical crystal with detailed intaglio hand-engraving of the Pegasus symbol on the 27lb disc. The artist employs the ancient engraving technique of intaglio, (deep three-dimensional carving) which dates back to 3000BC, along with stipple engraving, (diamond point) a 17th century technique originating from Holland.
Based in Toronto, Canada for the past 35 years, Mark Raynes Roberts has established a reputation and global following for his crystal art pieces, which take hundreds of hours to create. The creative process for the 2017 Pegasus World Cup required several renderings before the chosen design was determined and executed at the artist’s studio located in Toronto, Canada. To insure the newly created trophy arrived safely and in perfect condition for race day at Gulfstream Park, Miami, Florida, the artist drove the trophy himself from Toronto to Miami insure a perfect race day was enjoyed on Saturday, January 28, 2017.
“The trophy is an iconic symbol of the excitement, dedication and ultimate achievement of our sports’ athletes and owners. Befitting of the Pegasus World Cup Invitational, the world’s richest Thoroughbred horse race, the grand, unique and multi-dimensional sculpture created by Mark Raynes Roberts, represents a new pinnacle of accomplishment for our fine sport” commented Belinda Stronach, Chairman, The Stronach Group.
“It is a great honour to create this prestigious thoroughbred trophy and I greatly appreciate the faith and support Belinda and Frank have shown in my crystal art over the past 30 years. I believe an important factor in building a successful world class event is to quickly establish an”iconic” award design adds a strong visual impact both for media exposure and for public recognition. The strong Pegasus symbolism of both the “flying horse and wisdom” provides this for The Stronach Group” commented Raynes Roberts.
The 2017 Pegasus World Cup Invitational trophy was presented to President, Dr. John Chalmers, and Manager, Garrett O’Rourke, of Juddmonte Farms Inc., (based in Lexington Kentucky) by Belinda Stronach, Chairman, The Stronach Group, and her father Frank Stronach, Founder and Hon. Chairman, in front of a sell out crowd of 17,000 horse racing spectators. Juddmonte Farms Inc. is based in Lexington, Kentucky, and owned by Saudi Royal family member, Prince Khalid bin Abdullah Al Saud, whose stallion “Arrogate” was trained by Bob Baffert, and ridden by jockey Mike E. Smith. The hand-engraved crystal trophy was illuminated from inside the pedestal, as the sun was setting after the $12 million race had been run.