Pierre “Peb” Bellocq(French, b. 1926)
Peb was born in 1926 near Cognac, France, into a family that traveled the racing circuit from Bordeaux to Maisons-Laffitte. His father, Hillaire, was a trainer and later his brother, LouLou, was a jockey.Peb came to America in the mid 1950’s. He rendered promotional sketches for the Washington, D.C. International; Stakes at Laurel, worked for an advertising agency and then became associated with The Morning Telegraph, and its successor, Daily Racing Form. In time, he varied his approach by doing political cartoons for The Philadelphia Inquirer, which were widely reprinted in Europe and here, particularly in The New York Times.
Peb has been delighting American racing fans for over 50 years, making this an
appropriate time to acknowledge the work of someone who never stops making this game a little more fun or interesting. In 2004 The Racing Form and the National Museum of Racing put together an exhibit entitled “Peb: The Art of Humor,” that ran 18-months at the Museum. The Form also released a commemorative set of 23 new and original color sketches by Peb entitled “The Peb Star’s of the Turf 50th Anniversary Collector’s Portfolio.”
For a few years, Walter Annenberg owned both the Racing Form and the
Philadelphia Inquirer and had Peb pulling double duty, doing political cartoons for the Inquirer and racing cartoons for the Form. In the early 1970s, Annenberg sold the Inquirer and the new owners of that paper wanted Bellocq to stick to politics. It was an easy decision. Horse racing, not politics, was his life. “I was born into racing,” said Peb. “My father was a jump jockey in the south of France and may grandfather was a trainer. His father was a breeder. I was among horses right from the start.” So Peb devoted the remainder of his remarkable career solely to the Daily Racing Form, much to the delight of the paper’s devoted readers.