THE ROLLING STONES
This is a special image for me; in part because it is such a low percentage capture and in part because its dynamism extols the wild nature of mustang horses. The premise was always to have a group of Mustangs running wild towards me in the winter snow, but I knew the chances of truly pulling it off were very low.
The project was undertaken at the Mustang Monument Ranch near Wells in Northern Nevada; a vast acreage and a labour of love by its owner - the wonderful force of nature that is - Madeleine Pickens. No one has done more to raise awareness of the plight of the Mustangs in today’s America than Madeleine and no one has done more to offer safe sanctuary. This was always a collaboration with her and I hope sales from this image will eat into the financial burden she bears each year to protect an animal core to Americana.
There are over 1,000 mustangs in her care in Nevada and I observed that they do often behave in a skittish and sheepish way, running in big collectives in one direction for no particular reason. The odds of this happening directly towards my camera in decent light were small and our game plan was always to use feeding time as an opportunity to improve those odds.
I had my chance late one afternoon in January 2023, but almost all of my images in that five minutes of chaos were cluttered and messy, as is often the case with untamed horses. Images of single mustangs were easier but were never going to cut it as the essence of the place is the collective. It is an extraordinary spectacle when they move as one.
But luckily, and it was luck, one split second offered the chance to embody everything I could have wished for and just a little bit more. Not an easy capture and a test of quick thinking in the field. I can almost hear the pounding of the hoofs when I look at it.
After some deliberation on what to call this big picture, I went for the Rolling Stones, for reasons that don’t really need to be explained.