To tell the story of Inferno Sixty Six, currently one of the most popular junior sires, with offspring among the top sellers in the big American auctions and son of the Two Million Dollar Sire and #2 2019 junior sire in the world, Gunnatrashya, with a mother who is only the second-ever Million Dollar Dam, Snip O Gun, we must go way back in the “horse-life” of his lucky owner, Domenico Lomuto. We will explore a kaleidoscope of horses, people and remarkable events. Don’t worry! It is worth having a little patience to discover the enchanting saga of this stallion “from Mars” through the colourful words of a true Roman raconteur, a man always inclined to see the comic side of life.
So, enough presentation, let’s hear the story!
Domenico, would you like to tell us the story from the beginning?
From the beginning? Well, I have been riding since I was a child, first in the classic Pony Club in Rome and then riding out through the countryside. I have always had a passion for horses, but this was dampened after a bad fall when I was around twenty. At the time, I was involved in Endurance. Then other commitments in life, university, work and “young ladies” temporarily distracted me.
I didn’t mean right from the beginning…
Okay, I’ll fast forward. But there is a part of my youth that led straight to Inferno, so I have to tell it. I studied Communications and Marketing, and my first profession was as a still life photographer working for an agency (as my boss of the time said, I tried to put feelings into sliced cheese and tomatoes) and doing what today is known as “street photography” as a passion. I was still among the few who developed black and white images by hand with an enlarger and trays, and I also published a couple of books. I won a variety of awards for advertising photography including one for the best young European photographer for two years in a row in Paris.
Have a little patience! As a passionate photographer, I had started collecting Leica cameras, a historic and very famous German brand that in 1919 was producing equipment way ahead of its time and whose name was also linked to many specific series used by the military in different countries during the last war. My collection included pieces produced between 1919 and 1940 and, at that time, was certainly one of the most important in Europe and perhaps in the world, with some very rare items. Among these, I had two very unusual ones that were part of a special edition of only six cameras made for the Air Force Ministry, complete with military engravings on the camera body. My mother had worked extensively for that Ministry, so I got to hear of an auction where these cameras would be sold. They were very rare and very valuable… In the same period, my career had taken a different turn towards communication, working as a creative in different advertising agencies. When I was about 25, I also lived in New York for a while and while working there I met a man who was an eminent member of the Leica Society (the collectors’ association). This person would