Our cover this month, “Dimanche au bois” (317/8 in. by 255/8 in.) by Jean-Pierre Cassigneul, sold for $122,280 at Christie’s recent Impressionist/Modern Day Sale in London on Feb. 5, 2015. The women in Cassigneul’s piece appear to be attending a Sunday steeplechase. Extremely popular in Europe, a steeplechase is a distance horse race in which the competitors often have to jump over a variety of obstacles (primarily fences, ditches and hedges). It’s so named because early races used church steeples in neighboring towns as the start and finish lines.
French jump racing (another name for a steeplechase) is notable for more cross-country chases than races that occur on closed courses and the presence of a unique obstacle, the bullfinch, which is a large hedge that’s meant for the horses to leap through, rather than over. Unlike in most countries, the French also eschew the use of thoroughbred horses in such races, having created a mixed breed, known as “Autre Que Pur Sang,” specifically for the purpose of competing.
Much like a steeplechase, attempting to incorporate insurance into an estate plan is a process that can be fraught with obstacles that can trip up even the most adroit planner. Often, the best solution is collaboration. Establishing a working relationship with an insurance specialist can be invaluable for your clients.