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The Equestrian Gallery

Jay Boyd Kirkman - Back to the Stables

Jay Boyd Kirkman - Back to the Stables

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After a race, unplaced horses - those which have not qualified for presentation in the winners enclosure - congregate at the far end of the paddocks.  Unsaddled and returned to the care of their grooms, each horse's latest performance - or lack of it - is considered as jockeys, owners & trainers huddle together.  Above all, one of the judge's boxes, now empty, stands sentinel.  Eventually, all go their separate ways; the jockeys, carrying their saddles & gear, back to the weighing room, horses, steaming from their exertions, are led back to the stables - seen here behind - and the remaining connections disperse around the other racecourse facilities.  

This is always a good opportunity to draw & observe - away from the excitement, cameras and crowds around the winners.  Think of this as an almost private moment played out in the public arena of the racecourse - when the immediate disappointment begins to be overcome, the link between people & their animals may be restored and hopefully new plans start to be made for a better day.

Hexham racecourse sits on a high ridge above the town with the course in a natural ampitheatre below and vast views across the surrounding country.  Only NH (jumps) racing is staged and to avoid the worst of the Northumbrian weather affecting this traditionally winter sport, many of these meetings are run in the early & late stages of the season - such as here in the Spring.  

As the only racecourse in Northumberland - where I have lived since the 1980s, Hexham has been the source of many of my pictures.  

The horsemanship, resilience and devotion to the sport of racing I have witnessed has been a constant inspiration in my own work.

This picture began on the course on good quality paper which I have laid on my usual conservation-quality museum board to ensure long term stability in framing & handling.      

Jay Boyd Kirkman  

 Pastel on paper laid on museum board.

Signed lower right, framed

7 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches (18.5 cm x 29.3 cm) excluding frame.

Frame outer dimensions 18 3/4 x 22 3/4 ins. (47.5 x 57.7 cms.)

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