Monday, May 18, 2009

Horses


Rachel Alexandra, center, on her way to becoming the first filly to win the Preakness Stakes since 1924. Photo by Steve Helber. A.P.


It's been a great month for horse racing in America with the historic victory of Rachel Alexandra in the Preakness and the unpredictable win of the 50 to 1 long shot Mine That Bird in the Kentucky Derby. I'm not a big horse racing guy - it all happens too quickly for me - but I'm a huge fan of the backstory of the races and especially the photos that show up in the paper the next day, the best ones looking like great 19th century history paintings.

Surprisingly, no-one seems to have made much of a career of photographing racehorses or races while painters from Stubbs to Duffy to Sir Alfred Munnings made it their bread and butter. So there's an interesting idea or opportunity there.

In the meantime, three pictures by Matthew Stockman of Getty from this year's Kentucky Derby, below:








Aaah - America the beautiful!

And, below, an uncredited picture that came up from my Google Image search:



12 comments:

giggles said...

WOW! GREAT pictures!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

T Korol said...

The best horse racing photographer today is Bill Frakes. A staff photographer for Sports Illustrated he has made some of the most memorable horse racing photos in the past 25 years. See his work here from this weeks Preakness Stakes. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multimedia/photo_gallery/0905/preakness.stakes/content.1.html

And here on his web site from the Kentucky Derby.

http://custom.photoshelter.com/c/billfrakes/gallery/Kentucky-Derby/G0000zwGqcyjbcU8/

And his amazing cover from this years Kentucky Derby as well here.

http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/cover/featured/11232/index.htm

Catherine in DC said...

Horse racing is one of my favorite events to watch live. In part because of the actual race, which is fast paced, reckless, dangerous and fantastic, and in part because of the atmosphere at the races. You will find 2 groups of people there, usually. The society people, who dress in those fantastic hats, and the rest, who come with their families, come with their picnics. You will see all sorts at a horse race, which makes it a bit like a theme park, minus the outrageous entrance fee.

The pictures you posted are great. I love the man with the cigar and hat with a carrot in it.

Anonymous said...

such MOTION!

Sara said...

The hat is stunning! Who ever is under it only seems to serve the hat's purpose, which seems to be: to be flamboyant and make a very noticeable shot.

Blake Andrews said...

http://www.ellenrennard.com/

Sprockette said...

The sun hat photo is a winner.

stacy said...

great point!

i could look at horse racing photos all day long.

they are majestic beasts!

andrea.at.the.blue.door said...

That last photo is pure poetry; the horses all at the same angle and the colors of the jockeys silks - it's all so beautiful together.

Fiona said...

If you love great horse racing pictures you should check out ones from Il Palio held in Siena, Italy each year. A marvellous event to attend but incredible as it is run around Piazza il Campo and the majority of the crowd are in the middle of track.
It's also bareback, has no rules, no starting gates and contains a 90 degree turn at one point.
Love it

Anonymous said...

You should all watch “Real Sports by Bryant Gumbel.” That show has an update on the long overdue piece that describes what happens to these beautiful creatures when they finish out of the money one too many times. They are packed into vans and deprived of food and water for days because the U.S. doesn’t allow horse slaughter, but we gladly let Mexico do our dirty work. There the horses are “stunned” with tools designed for cattle, which means that many are not stunned, but fully conscious as they are hauled up by their legs in chains, screaming in agony and fear, and then slaughtered as inhumanely as possible. There is video for your viewing pleasure, and if you don’t have HBO there is a wealth of information on this subject, and as much footage of these barbaric acts as you can stand on the Internet.
Oh yes, it has been a great year for horse racing indeed, except for the horses.

bb mcclain said...

The pic of RA winning the Preakness is unlike any of the trite horse racing photos I've seen. It looks like they're almost running in all directions.