Beautiful Horses of South Carolina

South Carolina is the 12th state in equine artist Karen Brenner's "Beautiful Horses of... " series.
Karen traveled throughout the state in the spring of 2017 photographing horses for this project
and completed these paintings in 2017-2018.



Olivier - Dutch Warmblood Stallion - oil painting by Karen Brenner

14x16", oil on masonite, Karen Brenner, $1,000

Royal Dutch Warmblood stallion Olivier is a retired Grand Prix show jumper who spent most of his live in Europe. He's taken on a new career competing in dressage. He resides at Deep Sigh Equestrian Center in South Carolina, where I got to meet this dark beauty and watch him going through his paces with his owner, Barbara's daughter Kristin.The two ladies adore their beautiful stallion!

Olivier and Barbara and Kristin

Barbara and Kristin with Olivier




The Blues Sisters, painting by Karen Brenner

The Blues Sisters
20x20", oil on masonite, Karen Brenner, $1,600

The Blus Sisters are second generation Egyptian Arabians bred at the historic Whitehaven Plantation. WH Carolina Blu & WH Phanale are full sisters. They were exceptional models for my photo session, racing around their pasture with manes and tails flying. But when they posed on a slight hill near the gate I thought - this is what I'll paint! And it is!


Dave unwraps peppermint treats for his girls.



Tango - Arabian Gelding - SC

Entre Toi et Moi, aka Tango
24x14", oil on masonite, Karen Brenner, $1,344

Arabian gelding Tango's registered name is Entre Toi et Moi which is French for "between you and me". He was named after a song from a French Canadian band in Nova Scotia. He is the youngest of the three generations that Trisha has at Whitehaven plantation. Tango is a five-year-old purebred Arabian gelding who Trisha bred and raised, and who is definitely extremely special to her.

Tango has just started his career in dressage - this past year he was the region 15 reserve Champion sport horse gelding, Hunter type and he finished the year off ranked fifth in our region for both training level dressage and sport horse in hand for the US Equestrian Federation.

When I was at the farm I also photographed Tango's father, WH Marengo, grandfather WH Bodacious, and 3/4 brother WH The Aga Khan. And two beautiful mares. All are gleaming white Arabians, and I am in awe of Trisha who had spent the morning making sure they ALL looks spotless. If you have a white horse, you know how much effort Trisha put into that project!


Whitehaven Plantation and Trisha

Trisha, making sure everyone is spotless!




MSU Start Again

MSU Start Again
20x28", oil on masonite, Karen Brenner, $2,240


This painting features MSU Start Again, an amazing Polish Arabian gelding. He is 16.1 hands - so tall for an Arabian! His owner Kelli had him pose in front of awesome live oak trees lining the drive. The live oaks probably predate the nearby ruins of a house - a replacement for the family's original home that was burnt down during the war.

I loved the dappling of this beautiful Arabian mixed with the dappling South Carolina sunshine.

MSU Start Again is a multiple national sport horse champion. What a beautiful horse!

Kelli and Deuce

MSU Start Again and Kelli with the homestead in the background.



Rohara Marserati - horse painting by Karen Brenner

Rohara Marserati
24x14", oil on masonite, Karen Brenner, $1,344

Nicknamed Speedy, Rohara Marserati is a purebred Arabian gelding with a beautiful face! He raced around is South Carolina pasture like race car driver out for a joy ride - living up to his nickname and registered name!

Kelli and Speedy

Rohara Marserati and Kelli




Syb Ygrek - Friesian gelding - oil painting by equine artist Karen Brenner

Friesian Ballet - Syb Ygrek
28x20", oil on masonite, Karen Brenner, $2,240

Syb Ygrek, a Ster Friesian, is an accomplished dressage school master. He and his owner Tracy compete together, but his other role, as therapist for Tracy's Mom, who suffers from dementia, is why he is a true star! He also is wonderful at posing for photos! And of course action shots are his favorite! What a beautiful horse!

Syb Ygrek




Bellbottom Levi, Gypsy  Vanner, oil painting by Karen Brenner

Bellbottom Levi
24x14", oil on masonite, Karen Brenner, $1,344

Carol Ann fell in love witih Bellbottom Levi when he was a baby. She purchased him as a 2 year old and brought him to their beautiful farm is Laurens, SC.With it's spacious pastures dotted with large trees, the family homestead looks more like a beautiful park than a farm. We had Levi pose at the entrance to the family cemetary near the edge of one of the pastures. Carol Ann and Levi compete in carriage driving events.

Bellbottom Levi and Carol Ann

Bellbottom Levi is getting ready to pose for a photo as Carol Ann guides him into place.


Charlie Ann's Horses - Horse painting by Karen Brenner, oil on masonite

Charlie Ann's Horses
28x18", oil on masonite, Karen Brenner, $2,016

Four barrel racing horses live with Charile Ann in South Carolina, serving as mounts for her daughers in youth rodeos. As a photographer, Charlie Ann knew the perfect spot for her horses to pose for me to take pictures for my Beautiful Horses of South Carolina project. She coaxed the horses to the top of a huge hill to graze in the widespread shade of an awesome tree. The bright Carolina sunshine created dramatic shadows on the lead horse as it meanders back down the hill, and the dappled shade produces lots of colors on the three horses silhouetted on the top of the hill.

Charlie Ann

Charlie Ann shares a laugh with one of her horses.


IC Hancocknsmokinblu - Blue Roan Quarter Horse Stallion with part of his herd - painting by Karen Brenner

IC Hancocknsmokinblu
28x14", oil on masonite, Karen Brenner, $1,344

A beautiful blue roan Quarter Horse stallion, Hancocknsmokinblu is living the dream in a grassy pasture so spacious it took us about 15 minutes driving through it in a pick up truck to find him! Tony, who is his owner Tara's father, finally spotted him hanging out with his herd of mares.



Cooper - World Champion FEI level driving - Morgan - Painting by Karen Brenner

14x18", oil on masonite, Karen Brenner, $1,008

It was a special privilege to get to meet a world champion driving team, Cooper and Shelly, at their home near Aiken, South Carolina. What a noble and powerful Morgan!

Cooper and Shelly have been driving partners for over 15 years. They have been national champions in combined driving three times and on two world championship teams - coming home with two FEI bornze medals.

Always ready for a new challenge, now they are tackling the sport of dressage.

Selly and Cooper

Shelly and Cooper



Carignan - Holsteiner gelding - oil on masonite - Horse Paintings by Karen Brenner

18x14", oil on masonite, Karen Brenner, $1,008

"Carignan is the once in a lifetime horse every girl dreams of owning as a child. He is full of spunk, loves getting dirty in the mud, loves to nibble on your clothes and LOVES to jump. We call him the "unicorn" because he's just magical and can't take a bad photo" - Sarah, Carignan's owner




Oakdancers Justice Dutch Warmblood Painting by Karen Brenner

Oakdancers Justice
14x24", oil on masonite, Karen Brenner, $1,344

Standing tall - 17.3 hands - Dutch Warmblood gelding Oakdancers Justice is just two years old! He is aristocratic and arrogant with a floaty trot that's perfect for his future as a dressage superstar. His owner Terry put him through his paces, and he just floated around the arena - already star quality!


Terry and Oakdancers Justice



Camalot's Cocoa - Rocky Mountain - horse painting

Camalot's Cocoa
14x20", oil on masonite, Karen Brenner, $1,120

Chocolate with a white mane and tail, Rocky Mountain mare, Camelot's Cocoa, is famous for doing a wide array of tricks! When I arrived, Cocoa was inside the wash stall, and looked beautiful in the streaming sunlight.


Cocoa and owner Anne work together on tricks.



Varom - horse painting by Karen Brenner

oil on masonite, 18x16", Karen Brenner, $1,152

Varom and Frenchie - oil horse painting by Karen Brenner

Varom and Frenchie
oil on masonite, 18x14', Karen Brenner, $1,008

Varom is a jumper, originally imported from Europe by Olympic gold medalist Leslie Howard. Now owned and jumped by Amber in Aiken, South Carolina. He loves working and going on trail rides.

Amber and Varom and Frenchie

Varom, Amber and Frenchie



Roscoe and Holly on Spring Island, SC - oil painting by Karen Brenner

Roscoe and Holly
28x24", oil on masonite, Karen Brenner, $2,688

Sometimes life is an adventure! When I traveled to South Carolina to photograph horses for the Beautiful Horses series, I had no idea I'd end up visiting a private island! Who knew horses lived on private islands? We'll Spring Island has a whole stable! And their own hunt club. Awesome, right! We met Holly and Roscoe at the stable. Holly knew of a scenic ruins on the island that would make the perfect backdrop for our photos, so off we went - and ended up at the spot pictured above! I love the ancient trees of South Carolina, with Spanish moss dripping down. The trunks and shadows were so perfect for framing Holly and Roscoe for the painting!













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Horse Paintings & Photography
by Karen Brenner

Wooster, Ohio


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Copyright - Horse Paintings & Photography by Karen Brenner, 1999-2016