Two auctions that were to raise funds to provide long-term care for well-known equine photographer Tony Leonard and his wife, Adele, have been canceled indefinitely.
The first Lexington-based auction had been scheduled for Dec. 30 at 10 a.m. at the Kentucky Basketball Academy, and the second was to take place Jan. 2 at Spindletop Estates.
According to auctioneer Vernon Hatton, he was notified Dec. 29 that legal action had been taken to block the sales. He said the sales were being conducted on behalf of and authorized by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, which is overseeing the care of the Leonards, who are in a nursing home. He could provide no additional details of the court filing.
Leonard, who began working in 1962, had a career as a photographer spanning more than 40 years. During his time in the Thoroughbred industry, he documented such greats as Northern Dancer, Secretariat, Affirmed, Spectacular Bid, Genuine Risk, John Henry, and Cigar.
An Eclipse Award-winner, Leonard has had his work appear in several equine publications, including The Blood-Horse and Equus. According to Leonard’s Web site, his photographs have hung on the walls of such major institutions as Keeneland, the Japan Racing Association, the Cannon Building in Washington, D.C., and the Nikon corporate offices.
After growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, Leonard was a Broadway performer and twice sang the national anthem for the New York Yankees. But it is his skills as a photographer and ability to capture the Thoroughbred athlete that has earned him the most recognition. Leonard, who has in the past been invited by many nations to record their major Thoroughbred events, also served as Queen Elizabeth II's official photographer during her trips to Kentucky.