Recently I had the joy of photographing this absolute gentleman of a horse in Arundel. Having many photos of him in the show ring, his owner wanted these photos to be all about him in fine art detail, for a daily dose of his charm and grace for her wall. Zander was beyond belief when it comes to being calm, patient, and a complete natural in front of the camera. I couldn’t have asked for a more well behaved subject, but what made this shoot truly special, was that it was a family affair to make sure we captured his essence. I think we did! Those soulful eyes and his dignified presence took center stage in every shot. It was as if he knew this was his moment to shine.
Before every photo session I have a conversation with the owner asking them to share a little with me about their horse. Trish said she could talk about Zander all day, but she narrowed his story down to this.
“Clifton Zander was born in 2003 in New Zealand out of a Selle Francais mare and Olympian Greg Best’s Thoroughbred stallion BT. (Fun fact: there are at least three clones of his aunt Olympic Champion Gem Twist!) He was an eventer before he became strictly a dressage horse; shown in New Zealand, Canada and the East Coast of the US. If having a microchip, a passport, and a life time USEF number wasn’t cool enough, Zander was also a para dressage horse for his previous owner, who used a wheelchair for mobility. Zander is now retired from his professional life and lives in Maine, where his current (and final!) owner enjoys the perks of owning an impeccably bred and trained horse.”