Smile! The art of equine photography

Story highlights

  • Asuncion Pineyrua is an equine photographer
  • She snaps prize-winning racehorses from across the world

Asuncion Pineyrua, an equine photographer who travels the world snapping the finest thoroughbreds, has discovered that celebrity stallions aren’t as obliging as their human counterparts when they take to the catwalk.

“They are not like people,” Pineyrua tells CNN Winning Post. “You cannot tell them how to do things and where to look so basically to draw their attention is really challenging.

“Horses have a certain amount of time you can work with them. Usually after half an hour they start losing their minds. You just need them to be relaxed […] So I want to show them muscular — which is very important — but also super relaxed. More like a sculpture really.”

‘Showman’ Frankel

Pineyrua has photographed some of the biggest names in horse racing, including the notorious father-son pairing of Galileo and Frankel.

Galileo won some of the world’s most prestigious races, including the 2001 Epsom and Irish Derbies and the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth stakes at Ascot, while his son boasts an unbeaten fourteen-race career.

“They are totally opposites,” Pineyrua admits. “Frankel is a showman and he loves the attention and is always parading. He knows what’s going on and you can’t take him away from his comfort zone. Whereas other stallions, like Galileo, are just so easy to work with.”

But it’s the roguish son Frankel she enjoys shooting the most.

“[Frankel] really shows very well in the camera and also he’s just fun to work with. He’s always looking through my lens. He looks at you in a very different way if he’s out on the paddock than any other stallion. He’s really cool.”