Racing fans should head to London this month to catch two exhibitions celebrating the sport and the splendor of thoroughbreds.
Charlie Langton is an award-winning sculptor who specialises in horses, with a particular interest in thoroughbreds. Past work includes the iconic Derby trophy, which he created in 2010, and a larger than life bronze model of Yeats – the only horse to win four Ascot Gold Cups – which was unveiled by the Queen at last year's Ascot.
His latest work, entitled ‘The Thoroughbred’ can be seen at Sladmore Gallery, off Berkeley Square, from 18 June to 20 July. The exhibition is an overview of the breed, starting with a stallion, then mare, mare and foal, foal, yearling, two year old, mare and back to stallion.
Explaining his fascination with horses, Langton said he is “addicted” to capturing their life, energy and spirit. “I have a fascination in finding out how these animals are put together and how this allows them to evoke so much emotion in us,” he said. “They are remarkable animals, not only physically but also mentally. Their connection with us is an intangible and wonderful one.”
The stars of his exhibition are sculptures of five thoroughbreds, celebrated throughout the racing world for their outstanding achievements: Harbinger who was the world’s top ranking racehorse; the world record breaking mare Goldikova; Galileo and Sadlers Wells who are legendary breeders of numerous champions; and the aforementioned Yeats.
As racing manager to the Queen, John Warren looks at thousands of thoroughbreds each year and commends Langton for really capturing the magnificence of the breed.
“As I look critically at thousands of horses every year, my eye is fairly well tuned when it comes to looking at the 'perfect athlete',” he said. “For someone to actually create that absolute picture in art form to the detail it requires, is a unique and extraordinary talent.”
In complete contrast to Langton’s muscular sculptures is Elie Lambert’s exhibition. With their bold colours and long-legged racehorses, his paintings have a certain sense of humour and child-like naivety.
Born in Belgium, Lambert was a jockey himself as a young man and then a racing reporter, bloodstock agent and antique and art dealer. However, when he was diagnosed with a life threatening form of cancer Lambert saw his career take a new direction.
He created hundreds of paintings between hospital visits, which gave him a new purpose in life. His work was well-received by influential buyers such as the Wildenstein family, who have been selling art for five generations and are also racehorse owners and breeders. As a result, Lambert is now a full time painter living in Deauville in France, just a few seconds from its racecourse.
Lambert’s first solo show of work by is at the Osborne Studio Gallery in south west London, from 18 June 6 July.