Photo of the Week: Mystical gray beauty

Realbigwig and his owner/rider Shannon Smith did a fashion photo shoot three weeks ago. Photo by Michele Taras

Realbigwig and his owner/rider Shannon Smith did a fashion photo shoot three weeks ago. Photo by Michele Taras

One afternoon about three weeks ago, Shannon Smith slipped into a couture jacket and onto the back of her storybook-beautiful gray gelding.

Posing for photographer Michele Taras in an outfit by a local designer, the Ontario equestrian and her OTTB Realbigwig romped in the woods without a care in the world.

“Normally I wouldn’t ride without a helmet,” Smith says. “But nothing fazes him. He’s super smart and super brave. He’ll do anything you ask; he’s not a spooker and he’s super levelheaded.”

Real Big Wig
Barn: Russell
Sire: Ghostzapper
Dam: Pop Princess, by Alphabet Soup
Foal date: May 22, 2010
Smith adopted Realbigwig two years ago from Adena Springs Farm after putting out feelers. When she got a call from her friend Stacy Clark, who ran the retirement program for the farm, her gut reaction to Realbigwig guided her.

“I fell in love with him right away,” she says. “We took him out to the arena, and at the time he’d only had three rides on him, and I watched him work. He was super green, but he didn’t put a foot wrong. I remember thinking I’ve waited forever for this guy.”

After giving him about a year off due to winter weather, she started him in training in the spring. And she was so impressed with his talent that he’s entered in the October Thoroughbred Makeover Project in Kentucky.

“I love his versatility. He’s a quick study and he has paid me back in spades with his commitment,” she says. Even let his horse mom drape a long train over his hindquarters as they canter in the very picture of a young girl’s dream come true.

5 responses to “Photo of the Week: Mystical gray beauty”

  1. Christine

    Gorgeous photo! I have a blog hop at focusing on Equine Goals if you fancy joining in!

  2. Shannon Smith

    You can follow Realbigwig’s progress here

  3. colmel

    What an amazing photo and an even more amazing horse! I have always loved Alphabet Soup and his amazing progeny. I had the great pleasure of meeting Arts and Letters when he was a very old pensioner. He was a sweet, old guy with a marvelous past. I’m always thrilled to see his ancestors happy – in whatever their area.

    1. colmel

      Oh, and Cozzene was one of John Nerud’s great breedings. He was, without doubt, one of the most beautiful horses I’ve ever seen. Man! Did he ever have a tail!

  4. Theresa

    What a beautiful photo! .his pedigree is top class!

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