I had the pleasure of painting this handsome chestnut recently for Lillie from Ottawa. After her beautiful boy, Valendro, tragically passed away due to colic, her friends generously came together to gift her with a custom portrait.
A favourite photo of Valendro was selected for this portrait – a head shot that showcased his loving disposition.
More than just a horse, Valendro was beloved by Lillie and those who knew him. Affectionally known as “Val” and “Pooper” (a nickname given with love), this one-of-a-kind horse held a special place in the hearts of many. His many quirks made him impossible to sell, but together, he and Liilie worked through them and developed a special connection. Kind and gentle, he looked after his rider as they moved up to the 1.20s. An incredibly patient teacher with a heart of gold, Valendro was at the beginning of his career as a jumper.
I enjoyed painting this sweet soul, from his kissable nose and beautiful blaze to his copper lashes and the twinkle in his eyes. I hope Valendro’s portrait brings Lillie some comfort and does justice to this special horse.
"Somewhere...somewhere in time's own space
There must be some sweet pastured place
Where creeks sing on and tall trees grow
Some Paradise where horses go.
For by the love that guides my pen
I know great horses live again."
- Stanley Harrison