The guardianship of well-known equine photographer Tony Leonard will auction off a variety of his personal items Feb. 27 to help defer long-term care and medical costs. The 88-year-old Leonard is currently residing with his wife Adelle in a nursing home in Lexington.
According to auctioneer Filson Graham of Bluegrass Auction, "It is a very eclectic offering. Not only do we have cameras and lenses, but signed artwork of racing greats like Secretariat, Genuine Risk, and Nashua to name a few. There are many more unique items that Tony collected during his travels around the world."
Leonard, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio was born Anthony Bergantino. He became a professional singer and began his photographic career after meeting prominent horse farm owners while performing in Lexington. He was the personal photographer for the Queen of England when she would visit the farms and tracks in Kentucky. His travels took him to safaris in Africa and he sang the nation anthem in Yankee Stadium and before crowds at Cincinnati Reds games.
"We have items from his travels such as African carved figurines and masks and a baseball signed by the New York Yankees during the Reggie Jackson era when they won the World Series," said Graham in a release.
The auction will be held Sunday, Feb. 27 and will begin promptly at 2:00 p.m. at 1387 East New Circle Road in Lexington. Items will be available for viewing at Bluegrass Auction Feb. 25 from noon to 5:00 p.m. and Feb. 27 from noon until the start of the auction. Interested parties may also view many of the offerings at bluegrassauction.com.
The auction will not include Leonard's extensive negative collection and art portfolio. Efforts continue to place the collection by sale or endowment with an institution of the Thoroughbred industry.