Ripley – redefining racehorse portaiture

The British fine art photographer and artist known as “Ripley” has won second place in the Fine Art category of the 2014 International Photography Awards – a worldwide competition based in the USA – with his portrait of a “Racehorse On Newmarket Heath With A Rubbing Down House”.

Ripley creates large-scale portraits of thoroughbred horses through the use of ultra high resolution digital photography – with cameras capable of shooting up to 200 megapixels – combined with extensive work in post production.

The ‘Racehorse’ picture is Ripley’s homage to the English painter George Stubbs (1724–1806), who was renowned for portraying the many Rubbing Down Houses in Newmarket within his equine-based compositions in the late 18th century.

Ripley’s portrait features the last surviving Rubbing Down House on Newmarket Heath which he has extensively renovated in post-production. In the distance we can see the modern day Millennium Grandstand on Rowley Mile.

Ripley said: “I am incredibly proud that my image came second in the IPA awards – in a horserace second place is alright, but when it is out of 27,000 entries from 104 countries around the globe, and a huge variety of subject matter, I feel I have done my little bit to put equine portraiture back on the international stage.

“I photograph all the elements separately – the horse is photographed in the training yard with people who are used to handling it which allows for a very relaxed shoot, as are other elements such a skies, grass, tracks, buildings etc. This gives me the freedom to compose the picture like a painter, but rather than being an artist’s interpretation of the horse, it is actually the horse.

“Owners and trainers really appreciate this realness as they know every nuance and detail of their prized thoroughbreds.”

Over the next five years Ripley hopes to create imagery of the greatest horses around the world, including horses in the UK, USA, Dubai to Japan, with the view to redefine how thoroughbred horses are portrayed and represented.

For more information see

Pictured: “Racehorse On Newmarket Heath With A Rubbing Down House” by Ripley 2014.

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