Former professional sports photographer Tony Edenden started out photographing football, rugby (both codes) and cricket before specialising in horse racing at the major European meetings. Fortunately for us, his coverage of the latter was never restricted to the equine stars of the race card.
In this selection of images – from Ascot, Epsom, Leicester, Thurles, Chantilly and Longchamps – Tony Edenden shows a warmly humanistic interest in his fellow men and women. The images are insightful in their observation but never cynical and judgemental.
Take the first image of the two gentlemen discussing the contents of pocket-folded race pages from a newspaper. Class distinctions might be read from their respective attire. The newspaper’s reference to Gandhi and Empire reinforcing the point. Yet, the two are presented as seasoned aficionados discussing some horse or others form. Any class distinction between them undercut by a shared passion for horse racing.
This is to say, Tony Edenden’s work sits in a venerable tradition of English social documentary photography that concentrates on wit, eccentricities, and farce. Class structures and their respective dress codes and behaviours are everywhere to be seen. However, these images never belittle or poke fun at people. They are generous and full of warmth.
Perhaps on another day, it was the photographer sipping the champagne, studying the form guide or even dressing to impress.”
All images copyright © Tony Edenden.
You can follow Tony on Twitter @TonyEdenden