Home  •  Paintings  •  Commissions  •  Newsletter  •  About the Artist  •  Contact   • Blog

Karen's Horse Paintings Blog - April 2008


Saturday at the Rolex's Cross Country
Posted April 28, 2008

My friend Becky invited me to go with her to watch the Cross Country portion of the 2008 Rolex Kentucky Cross Country. What a wonderful opportunity it was to take photos for reference material for future paintings! If you've visited the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, you know what a beautiful setting they have for cross country.

This year the cross country jumps were outstandingly massive--seemingly impossible for a horse to leap, but leap they did!

When we arrived we decided to try to see as many jumps as possible, so we watched a rider or two at each numbered fence, shooting photos as best we could. It was so amazing how many people were clustered at each fence, many armed with cameras and long lenses, eager to photograph the riders and horses!

Spectators are free (well after paying admission of course) to roam the course. The galloping lanes are roped off with occasional openings along the way. Every 10-15 minutes or so a new horse and rider team sets off from the starting line to jump the course. As the horse travels along the 3.9 mile course a whistle blows to alert crossing guards in the immediate area to stop pedestrians from crossing. It was fun to watch all the photographers (me included) hoist their cameras toward the closest jump at the sound of the whistle!

The ideal time for covering the 33 jump course was 11 minutes. If you'd like to see the course, here is a link to the official course website. Just click on the number of each jump to see details and photos: http://www.rk3de.org/virtual_course.php

Of course I took hundreds of photos! Here are some of my favorites.

These massive logs dwarf this horse and rider.


Going over the squirrels...

and on down the course with the squirrels in the distance.

Gotta love these ducks! Check out the size of the ducks compared to the horse who is jumping over them!

According to online reports after Sunday's stadium jumping (the third and final portion of the eventing competition, after dressage and cross country) Phillip Dutton won the Rolex! Just who I wanted to win because he and his wife Evie have moved to Aiken, South Carolina (where I dream of retiring one day!). In fact when we visited Aiken this spring, we drove along the paved road of the beautiful Bridle Creek Equestrian Community where they have their Red Oak Farm. Maybe someday I'll get to meet them in person! Here's a photo of Phillip Dutton on Connaught as they jump the Dray (hay wagon) - jump #23.

Phillip Dutton and Connaught

If you've followed the Rolex news, you've undoubtedly heard that two horses had to be put down due to injuries suffered during the cross country. What a tragedy. Becky and I were standing between jump numbers 4 and 5 when Frodo Baggins galloped from the Downhill Oxers to the Flower Basket. Becky turned to watch him approach the giant basket and saw him catch his foot on the basket and go down head first and flip over on top of his rider, Laine Ashkir. Almost instantly the hundreds of spectators near that portion of the course were hushed, silently watching as horse trailers and medics approached and pulled a huge tarp (or tent) over those involved in the tragedy. Focused dread stilled the crowd for over an hour. I wish I could report good news, for after about 90 minutes, the announcer informed the crowd that Frodo was being taken across the road to a nearby medical facility. But I read on the internet that he did not make it. Laine will hopefully recover. Another horse also was injured on the course and had to be put down. Here are links to Nancy Jaffer's reports about the cross country and stadium jumping and what she learned about the tragedies on EquiSearch.com:



Nancy's reports include comments by USEF President David O'Connor about the risks of participating in eventing.

Here's the photo I took as Frodo and Laine passed me, seconds before approaching the Flower Basket.

Please say a prayer for Laine in hopes that she has a full recovery.

posted by Karen Brenner

3 Comments - click here to add your comment

Glad you got to go out on the course this time!!! I am so sorry for those two horses and the injured rider. You got a great picture of the pair. I was over at the finish line when that happened, glad not to be closer. I struggle with the deaths and injuries of the sport and the sheer magnificence of the athletes human and animal. I keep going back, though. Hope to see your paintings from this trip! - Judy

Welcome to the blogosphere! Your paintings are beautiful. I have to admit that I was really shaken by the death of the two horses and the human injuries at Rolex. I'm writing a post about it on my blog. I'm sorry you had to witness this horrific accident and my heart goes out to those who were involved. -- victoriacummings.blogspot.com

Great photos. I think it's much better too when the course looks nice for the spectators too. I went to Badminton Horse Trials a few years back (they are on now by the way). How the horses manage to get over some of these jumps amazes me .. - Eamon


Beautiful Horses of Michigan Announced
Posted April 24, 2008

You'll find Quarter Horses, Andalusians, Friesians, Paints, Paints and more Paints.... and many more breeds on the list of horses who'll be part of the "Beautiful Horses of Michigan" series. I can't wait to meet and photograph these wonderful horses!

Thank you to everyone who nominated horses! It was extremely difficult to narrow the number down to just 34.

Are you curious as to which horses will be appearing in the series? I've posted the list of horses on the "Beautiful Horses of Michigan" page. Click here to see the list.

posted by Karen Brenner

1 Comment - click here to add your comments

It is so wonderful to have you selecet one of my horses for the "Horses of Michigan Book". I am so excited- what an unreal opprotunity. Thank you for including us in your work. I can't wait!!

Technorati Profile  

Photo Safari in Amish Country
Posted April 16, 2008

Fellow Equine Art Guild members Juliet Harrison and Pat Getha invited me to a photo safari in Amish Country! What fun we had! We met at Lehman's Hardware in Kidron, Ohio, where Sue Steiner (also a EAG member) is working on a wonderful mural with two Belgian horses.

Here we are - Juliet, me, Sue and Pat and just a bit of Sue's painting.You can see her mural in progress on her blog, A Multi-Colored Life.

Then we left Sue behind to continue painting and headed off toward Mt. Hope. Of course everytime we saw a horse we pulled over, pulled out our cameras and started shooting!

Juliet specializes in artistic black and white photography. Here website is Le Cheval The Horse. And Pat has both her fine art and photography on her website.

Here are a couple of my photos to give you an idea of what we saw.

I love the powerlines and windmill combination in this picture with two paint foals.

Juliet gets up close with these Percherons.

Pat lures some other Percherons over to take their pictures.

We did make it to Mt. Hope just in time for lunch at Mrs. Yoder's Kitchen!

posted by Karen Brenner

1 Comment

looks like you guys had a great day!
JennP from EAG

Add a comment


Fantastic Friesians
Posted April 7, 2008

My newest painting features the fabulous horses from the House of the Friesians. They were the hit of the show in October at the World Friesian Extravaganza in Springfield, Ohio. It was so exciting to see them majestically racing around the huge arena pulling their chariot with the crowd screaming in delight! What wonderful horses!

The House of the Friesian crew were easy to spot during the show because they were all dressed in bright orange pants and bright yellow clogs. Yes, they did stand out! As a tribute to their bright outfits, I used those colors for the background in this painting.

You can find out more about the House of the Friesians, who are based in British Columbia, Canada, on their website: http://www.hotfriesians.com/en/m1.asp

You won't usually see me posing by my paintings, but this is one of the largest paintings I've ever created, so to give you an idea of how large it is, there I am standing beside it.

You'll be seeing more paintings from my trip to the World Frieisan Extravaganza as they are completed throughout 2008.

posted by Karen Brenner

1 Comment - click here to add your comment

Karen, This painting is beautiful! I can feel the excitement I imagine these horses generate wherever they go!
posted by suesteiner


Beautiful Horses of Michigan's Nominations Close

Posted April 5, 2008

I am so excited to report that 98 horses were nominated for my Beautiful Horses of Michigan project! Wow, is it going to be tough to narrow it down to 20-25, but that's about all I'll be able to visit and photograph during my week-long "vacation" in Michigan. I know on my Ohio project, I tried to photograph 5 or 6 horses on one day, and that just doesn't leave enough time to visit with owners -- and travel from one town to the next.

I promised to let owners know the results by April 15, so I better start reading! I'll post the winners on my website too, so everyone can get a peek at what horses will be appearing in my future paintings.

posted by Karen Brenner



Working on Trails
in the Muskingham Watershed

Posted April 2, 2008

This past weekend was a very productive one for trail riders in Ohio! The Ohio Trail Partnership (OTP) had their annual work weekend, and about 60 hard working hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders came out to help build trails! We had a great time! It is so nice to see people from all three disciplines working together on trails!

The work centered around a NEW trail that will connect Malabar Farms to Pleasant Hill Lake. This trail is not expected to open until fall 2008; when it does, it will be a lovely ride.

Eventually there will be 40 permanent horse camping sites right alongside Pleasant Hill Lake. And someday there will be a 20-mile trail that connects Mohican State Forest, Pleasant Hill Lake and Malabar Farm. Ohioans are lucky to have such a great trail system for horseback riders! And we are fortunate that many Ohio Horseman's Council clubs (there are clubs in 60 of our 88 counties) have adopted different trails to maintain. Email me if you would like information about the OHC clubs!

posted by Karen Brenner




About Karen

Karen Brenner is passionate
about horses and art!
She enjoys traveling to horse farms
and equine events to
photograph horses
for reference material
for her horse paintings.

Find out more...

Sign up
To Receive Karen's Blog
via Email

Email Address

Email Karen

Sign Up for Karen's Email Newsletter

See Karen's Paintings online

Karen's Cafe Press Shops

Horse Paintings book

Beautiful Moments
in the Lives of Horses

Paintings and Photographs
by Karen Brenner
Coffee Table Book

Click here to preview book.



August- mid-September 2008
First Beautiful Horses of MI
All Horse Parade Photos
New Andalusian Paintings
Steeplechase Paintings
Camargo Hunt Paintings

June & July 2008
Michigan Trip
Friesian Paintings
Sorpresa's on YouTube

May 2008
New Andalusian Paintings for Fiesta Midwest
YouTube Video - Karen's equine apprentice, DJ

April 2008
Rolex Cross Country
House of the Friesians
Amish Country Photo Safari

March 2008
A Book!
Aiken Spring Steeplechas



Behind the Bit


Equus Caballus

Experiments in
Training Equines


The Horsehoeing Housewife

Manes n Tails

Midwest Horse Blog

Nuzzling Muzzles

Stable Scoop Radio Show

Teachings of the Horse






  Artist Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory  
Add to Technorati Favorites  
blogarama - the blog directory  

Home | Paintings | Commissions | News | About the Artist | Gifts | Blog | Purchasing a Painting | Search | Site Map

Copyright 2006-2011. Images cannot be reproduced in any way without the permission of the artist.