Claire Eva Burton ranks among the foremost exponents of equestrian art. Her love of horses dates from childhood; her paintings express all that is powerful, dynamic and colourful within the racing world. Having given up riding she now uses her art to raise money for charity.
After sketching her way through childhood, Claire Eva Burton attended the Medway College of Art. At the same time she rode out for Tommy Gosling and Mick Haynes in Epsom. Claire comments: “Working with racehorses was my best education … You can’t paint horses if you don’t know they have a leg at each corner. Joking apart, you have to be able to feel how a horse moves at speed to be able to convey that on canvas.”
She received her first important commission from Ahmed Foustock, who asked her to paint Provideo, and from there her reputation as an equestrian artist grew. In 1981 her work came to the attention of the directors of the Cheltenham Racecourse and at the age of 26 she found herself entrusted with a commission to paint a series of pictures for the Queen Mother’s Royal Box. A one-man exhibition at the Court Gallery in London’s Bond Street soon followed, further establishing her reputation as an equestrian artist.
Over 40 limited edition prints of her work have been published since 1985. A number of them depict famous horses and famous races, with the jockey’s signature on the print next to Claire’s. Thus Bob Champion at the 1981 Grand National on Aldaniti; Simpson Sherwood on Desert Orchid at Cheltenham; Richard Dunwoody on Desert Orchid at Kempton; Marcus Armytage on Mr. Frisk at the 1990 Grand National and Lester Piggott on Royal Academy in the 1990 Breeders Cup.