The Hampton Classic Horse Show, now in its 46th year, unveiled its official poster art on Tuesday. "Dream Gait," an oil painting by Cara Van Leuven of Highland, Ill., features a horse with extremely long legs that "reflect both their beauty and fragility," the Hampton Classic said in a release.
Ms. Van Leuven said the work was inspired by her experience as a vendor at last year's Hampton Classic.
"I was facing the shed rows last year, so I witnessed many of the horses coming and going to the rings," she said in the release. "They were bred, groomed, and cared for to the hilt. The beauty and grace of the horse never dulls."
She herself began riding horses at the age of 9 in her hometown of Fort Wayne, Ind., eventually entering the jumping ring. Since then, she studied photojournalism at Western Kentucky University and has done graphic design, hip-hop and breakdance, and graffiti-style art. She began painting in 2011.
According to the Hampton Classic, Ms. Van Leuven's works "are all highly textured and layered expressionist oil paintings, done almost entirely with a pallet knife."
She now lives in an 1861 farmhouse in Highland with her husband, Tom York, and two mares, a miniature horse, cats, ducks, geese, and two border collies. More information on her artwork can be found online at caravl.com.
This year's Hampton Classic will run from Aug. 28 through Sept. 4 in Bridgehampton.