There's no doubting that Olympic dressage gold-medallist Uthopia is a much-loved personality in the equestrian world. But a new photo released of the KWPN stallion illustrates his unflinching — and striking — star quality

Fine art photographer Matthew Seed‘s latest piece of work pays homage to London 2012 dressage team gold-medallist Uthopia, whose future was secured to stay with Carl Hester in Gloucestershire by an anonymous donor earlier this year.

The image’s striking composition and use of light is inspired by legendary English painter George Stubbs.

“Painters such as Stubbs have the advantage of being able to interpret what they see and often paint in a beautiful light to highlight the horse’s powerful muscles and topline,” says Matthew.

“By using flash and sculpting the light around the horse I am able to emulate this style of painting, typical of the Old Masters, such as Stubbs, and in doing so I have captured the essence of Uthopia.”

Sculpting light provides an authenticity that is difficult to achieve using post production techniques, such as Photoshop, particularly when shooting outdoors.

“Horses are beautiful animals to photograph, but it often takes some time to earn their trust and my aim is to form a bond and understand each horse I photograph in order to capture their essence,” adds Matthew.

Connecting  with the horse, understanding them and in turn capturing the horse’s personality is central to Matthew’s work.

“To ensure that I take time to connect with every horse I photograph and to truly present them in their best light is the most important factor in my work,” he says.

A limited edition print is being donated by Matthew Seed and Carl Hester to auction at the MDIRF’s  ‘An Evening With The Stars’ on the 29 November.

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Matthew has over 25 years’ experience in fashion and fine art photography and his equestrian commissions include The National Stud, Zara Phillips, Sam Twiston-Davies, Trevor Breen and Laura Collett, as well as sports personality and racehorse owner, Michael Owen.

For more information about Matthew Seed’s work visit: www.horse-photographer.co.uk