Tony Leonard, a well-known and respected equestrian photographer, died on July 14, reports the Thoroughbred Times. He was 89 years old. Leonard was considered a pioneer in the field, and is credited with creating the industry standard for conformation photos, which are used to show a horse’s build as well as confirm its breed. Known for documenting what is considered the “Golden Age” of Thoroughbred horse racing, he famously photographed the Triple Crown winner Secretariat over the course of many years.
According to BloodHorse.com, Leonard and his wife of 66 years, Adelle, were “made wards of the state” in 2009 due to medical and financial issues. The photographer later won a May 2010 court case to retain control of his negatives from the state of Kentucky.
He is survived by his wife; his sister and brother-in-law, Mary Lou and Richard Horn; and numerous nieces and nephews as well as grand nieces and nephews.