I recently had the honour of painting the portrait of an amazing creature I've had the pleasure of knowing personally, for Vicki, who tragically had to say goodbye far too soon. Undeniably beautiful, Summit was not only a brilliant hunter but a barn favourite among those who new him.
Affectionately known as Justin, and somewhat comically as Brave Justin, for he wasn't all that brave, this beauty captured hearts wherever he went.
Like all horses, he had his share of endearing quirks...from his floppy, airplane ears, to his notorious side eye, and who could forget, his dramatic (and yet hilarious!) fear of other horses. With a slew of adorable quirks, undoubtedly came an abundance of Justin stories that continue to bring smiles and laughter to everyone who know them.
I just want everyone to know that when Carolyn gave this to me I was in absolute shock. She completely recreated the photo that I had chosen and brought it to life. Best part is his wild eye that made him who he was! Thank you so much Carolyn. – Vicky A.
The “Justin” to my horses' “Beebs”, the two often lessoned together and had stalls beside each other. While they shared similarities – in "scary" situations each definitely expected the other to do the "saving" – their horsey friendship was a new one.
In the show ring, this up and coming hunter was proving he could compete with the big kids, wining Champion and Reserve at shows early this season. A perfectly matched pair, Vicki and Justin were a pleasure to watch in the ring as well as at home. From his smooth, hack winning strut to his effortlessly beautiful jumps, he was certainly a horse to take notice of.
A sad turn of events led to an early farewell and although Justin was certainly Vicki's unicorn, I'm confident he won't be her last. I hope this portrait of her partner and friend brings her happy memories of the good times they shared.