“Shelli Breidenbach is an incredibly talented photographer and her deep understanding of the beauty of horses is evident in what she created for this year’s Hampton Classic poster,” said Shanette Barth Cohen, the Classic’s Executive Director. “Her work is an excellent addition to the long line of iconic Hampton Classic posters.”
Breidenbach’s design, the first photograph selected for a Hampton Classic poster since 2007, was actually selected for the 2020 poster; but with the cancellation of last year’s event because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is making its debut as the official Hampton Classic poster this year.
For nearly twenty years, award-winning photographer Shelli Breidenbach has been creating elegant and fashion forward equine photos in a studio format. Her absolute and total admiration of these majestic animals comes through each shot and makes her photos striking. Her shooting experience becomes both a cooperative and collaborative vision between Breidenbach and her equine subjects – not dissimilar to the relationship she had with human models from her former fashion photography days.
It was after a family vacation to South Africa that Breidenbach, so inspired by her photography experience within the game parks, returned to New York and left her Wall Street job. She went on to enroll in the International Center of Photography, which led to her creative and professional pursuit of photography.
While successful in working her way up in commercial and fashion related photography in New York City, Breidenbach’s real visual satisfaction came from outside the studio. On weekends she spent her time on personal projects, photographing the horses she loved and rode. In an effort to eliminate any environmental distractions from the horses, Breidenbach began painting 20’ x 20’ backdrops against which the horses were posed. Breidenbach’s process has evolved over the past 10 years to be what she now calls “equestrian minimalist photography.” She has honed the color and style of her backdrops, played with movement and long exposures, as well as her framing. Whenever possible she prefers to photograph the horse wearing nothing at all – in an effort to maintain the emphasis on every beautiful shape and abstract nature of the horse.
Breidenbach’s large scale images have been shown in Lausanne, Rome, Deauville, Wellington, and New York, which she calls home. Her latest venture is a series of performance-based fabric lines. Sold through her partners, Savel Inc., Breidenbach’s fabrics focus on accommodating active families and their four-legged animals, staying true to the passions she has been capturing for decades. Further information is available at www.shellibreidenbach.com.
This year’s Hampton Classic will feature five FEI classes in the Classic’s grass Grand Prix ring that will showcase elite riders from around the world, including Olympic veterans, some of whom will be making their first appearance following this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo. The line-up of FEI classes will include the $75,000 Grand Prix Qualifier on Friday, the $73,000 LONGINES Cup on Saturday, and the Classic’s culminating event, the $300,000 Hampton Classic Grand Prix presented by Land Rover on Sunday, September 5. The Classic will also present the $30,000 LONGINES Rider Challenge. The Hampton Classic is proud to have LONGINES as its official timekeeper.
Each year approximately 50,000 people come to watch the nation’s best equestrian athletes compete at the Hampton Classic. The world-class event showcases more than 1,500 horses competing in 200 hunter, jumper and equitation classes. There are classes for horses and riders of all ages and abilities ranging from leadline all the way up to grand prix show jumping. The Hampton Classic is famous for its celebrity guests, C-level executives, and boldface names who attend every year.
Further information on the Hampton Classic Horse Show is available at the Hampton Classic website at www.hamptonclassic.com or by calling 631-537-3177.