In 1990, when I was working on my American Moments series, I drove to the Orange County Fair in Middleton, New York, hoping to find some events to shoot. Off in the distance, I saw a group of spectators staring up at what looked like a horse, standing on a high platform. Moments later, the horse suddenly just leapt into a pool of water.
I hurried over and watched as a parade of animals, a few dogs, but mostly horses, ascended the ramp, climbed up the tower, and rather gracelessly plunged into the water below. As I was about to leave, a group of spectators squeezed in front of me. Initially, I was annoyed, but continued shooting for a short time longer.
As soon as I got home, I processed the film, and almost couldn’t believe it. In that split second, I had captured the horse in a beautiful graceful dive, with the clouds in the background silhouetting the diving horse. And those pushy spectators -- they actually turned out to perfectly frame my picture!
The diving horse image has become my Signature image. It’s been widely exhibited, including at the Lisbon Expo ’98 featuring Water themes; in a Financial CEO’s Conference room; at the Victoria & Albert’s Private Member Lounge, and it’s even hung in a dental office!
Toby Old, 2018