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Gran Gesto ~ Commission of an Olympic Athlete

Gran Gesto..or "Sammy", as he is known in the barn

"Sammy" - otherwise known as Gran Gesto

I had a surprise visitor to my studio a couple weeks ago. None other than Gary VanBolderen of Dutch Masters Construction. Dutch Masters sponsors 2008 Canadian Olympic Dressage team rider Jacqueline Brooks. As a gift to Jacquie, Dutch Masters has commissioned me to complete of work of art of her Olympic mount Gran Gesto.

Jacquie helping to set up Sammy for our shoot

Jacquie helping to set up Sammy for our shoot

I met with Jacquie and ‘Sammy’ (Gran Gesto’s barn name) last week on a beautiful fall day.  After some discussion, I learned about Sammy and his gentle, quiet personality. How he ever so quietly walks from the test ring on a loose rein, even when the crowd is roaring. Up close and in person, he has a soft kind eye and a puppy dog personality.

Jacquie loved my work that incorporated unique angles and close crops. She wanted something different from the traditional poses, yet natural, capturing the ‘Sam’ she knows in the barn.  We kept things casual and natural, photographing him in a halter in hand, rather than under saddle.

Now I have a range of images to work from, here comes the fun part of putting together a composition which truly captures this boy from a different perspective.  I’m very excited about this project…maybe too excited..I’ve lost a few nights sleep over it…I’m really lucky to have a great client like Gary to offer me this special commission. He has always been a keen supporter of my work and I am proud to have him in as a client.

Gran Gesto

Gran Gesto

Stay tuned for more and enjoy the process..hopefully I will start getting some more ideas in my sleep.. 🙂 Here are some links in the meantime:

Dutch Masters Construction : www.dutchmasters.on.ca

Jacqueline Brooks: www.jacquelinebrooks.com

Jacquie’s Freestyle at Devon ’08: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPBTpEZeeu4


  1. Janice
    December 20, 2008

    That original “in orange” is truly spectacular!!!
    I sat down what was supposed to be briefly just to take a quick look at your site to see what was new & well here i am 2 hours later still sitting here..

    I look forward to seeing the beginnings of Poetic Eskimo!! 🙂

  2. Olympian Gran Gesto - Underpainting in Progress « Equestrian Artist Jennifer Pratt
    March 12, 2009

    […] To see previous posts on Gran Gesto Click HERE & HERE  […]


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