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22 February 2017

Mighty Mares

Is it the feminist in us that delights when a mare takes all before her, walloping a succession of hapless rivals?  Perhaps it is, or maybe it is because we get to enjoy them for longer because they don't get whisked off to stud at the hint of a cold or problem???

Australia and the world have been gifted with some true champion racemares.  I'd thought I'd kick off with our current sweetheart of the turf.  We are giddy with love with the great racemare WINX (Street Cry - Vegas Showgirl). 

Watching me watching you.  Full frame with a 500mm lens, Winx canters past me.  She doesn't miss much.

2016 George Ryder Stakes (G1)

2016 George Ryder Stakes (G1).  My lovely Darren's handiwork with the remotes.  Mostly I lose interest in remotes because I'm not physically taking them.  I've even been known to completely forget to turn the wretched pocket wizard on!  Darren's much more reliable and he gets some good images and importantly makes me look good!

WINX is captured here in 2016 emulating my love, my darling, the mighty SUNLINE who won the Cox Plate in 1999 and 2000.  I was speechless...

WINX takes her first Cox Plate in 2015.  She doesn't lead like the great Sunline used to do, but she snuck through the rails and led them a merry dance around the home turn before powering away to win by 5 lengths.

WINX - Cox Plate 2015 - in glorious isolation.

And while some tried to boast they had rare and unique images of WINX at the beach, I was actually the first person to capture her in the salt water and they WERE exclusive.  Of course publishing them gave the secret away, but I was the first to get her...  Just saying...

I don't add lurid colours to my photographs, it's not my style, because I believe that colour ought to be got legitimately or not at all.  Both mornings were pretty gloomy and they were cold and windy.  But the great mare looked just that.  GREAT...  She made getting cold worthwhile.

Putting pen to paper

My Blog has yet again suffered a series of hiatuses which were quite unintended.  I often come up with ideas to write about and then somehow time passes me by and I don't find the time.  And that's been a great shame.

Some of you might be interested in what's been going on with The Image is Everything.  The situation of photographing in Victoria was well documented.  For some time it threatened to put me out of business.  I'm so pleased to be able to write that we were able to come to a pleasing arrangement with Racing Victoria which allowed us to keep working in our current capacity.  We were appreciative of RVL's eventual willingness to compromise and we were overwhelmed with gratitude by the support we received from the racing and breeding industry.

I'm not a big 'self promoter'.  It doesn't come easily or naturally to me.  I'm not good with #hashtags.  I think they're stupid and I hate them and I frequently post, almost defiantly, on Instagram without using any hashtags at all.  I tell myself that if people want to see my work they will come and find it.  After all Pete Souza, ex White House Photographer for President Obama, recently started his own post White House Instagram account.  He NEVER uses hashtags, he lets the images and the subjects do their own talking.  It's so fantastic!  The number of followers he quickly gathered, even without the use of a single hashtag, was unsurprising.  Such is the magnitude of his work and his subjects and his technical skill is impressive.  He is the sort of photographer who actually makes me wonder why I chose to specialise in horses, because when I compare the importance of documenting the thoroughbred against chronicling the life of a person like Barack Obama, suddnely my horse photos seem totally irrelevant.  However I live in Australia not in America, and it is horses that I love and so that has become my calling.  And I can't say that the next 4 years will deliver great and poignant images from the White House!  Of this I am completely certain!

So what, or who, has been before my lens?  Let's see, shall we....

Who's this mare, I hear you ask???  Well, she's bred in the PURPLE!  She's living in retirement at Arrowfield Stud with another great broodmare (who'll be the subject of her own post).  Her name is DANISLEW.  I was v excited to find her in the paddock.  She's a daugher of DANEHILL and ADA SLEW, who in turn is a daughter of SEATTLE SLEW and ADA HUNTER, who is the dam of the mighty KINGSTON TOWN.  So fantastic!


This is Black Heart Bart working at Moonee Valley last September.  He'd come from nowhere, is sired by a stallion called BLACKFRIARS, who I'd photographed winning the VRC Derby years and years ago.  Bred in WA he's been a fantastic horse. Sold by our friends at Magic Millions and he's won 5 or 6 Group 1 races now I think.


Ahhhh...  The Cat..  APACHE CAT.  He leaps and plays for the camera at Living Legends.

ALL TOO HARD.  Champion 3 year.  Half brother to the immortal BLACK CAVIAR.  A son of the beautiful HELSINGE  who died recently.  Photographed at Vinery Stud.  April 2016.

Cover boy.  ALL TOO HARD.

Lloyd Williams won another Melbourne Cup.  He's iconic.

Sunset at Arrowfield Stud.

The Cat..  Again.


Yearlings at sunset at Arrowfield Stud.

The mighty mare.   WINX and her captain, trainer Chris Waller.  Caulfield Racecourse.  October 2016.

Dear Christmas.  I will miss you everytime I go to the stallion barn at Arrowfield Stud.  She was the resident cat at the stallion barn, who I always stopped to pat, talk to and of course photograph.  I was really sad when she died last year.

Beautiful Christmas, captured in going about her business in a classically feline pose.

DUNDEEL's first foal crop hit the ground in 2015.  Great foals...

Another of DANISLEW at Arrowfield in the last light of the day.

Ring a ding ding.  The Pumper, JIMMY CASSIDY, hung up his boots.

These are gorgeous foals!  Dundeel.

Isn't he glorious?  DUNDEEL.  I love him to bits.

Just because he's gorgeous, another one of DUNDEEL.

Bonding.  DUNDEEL and I share a moment to be friends.  I love this horse.  Many thanks to Vicky Leonard for capturing this sequence.  I really like them.