Photographer Leonard a Ward of the State

Well-known equine photographer placed in a Kentucky nursing home against his will.

A prominent, front-page feature in the Lexington Herald-Leader March 21 documented details behind the fact that well-known equine photographer Tony Leonard, 87, and his wife, Adelle, have become wards of the state due to their inability to properly care for themselves.

Click here to read the full version of the Herald-Leader article.

Leonard, who photographed hundreds of greats such as Northern Dancer, Seattle Slew, and Secretariat, has been placed in a Kentucky nursing home (Bluegrass Care and Rehabilitation Center), along with his wife, against his will. According to the newspaper, the couple along with four relatives, have filed motions in Fayette District Court to end the state's guardianship and stop the Cabinet for Health and Family Services from controlling the sale of the photographer's images and other belongings.

The disposition of Leonard’s extensive photo collection is one of the focal points in the article. Leonard expressed that he hoped to sell the collection in order to hire in-home caretakers. He wants it to be preserved and displayed at an establishment such as Keeneland or The Kentucky Horse Park.

“We are very interested in helping preserve (Leonard's) collection,” said Jay Blanton, Keeneland’s director of communications and marketing. Blanton added that the company had not yet negotiated prices for the photographs or discussed the matter in detail with Leonard and his representatives.

“I don’t think we’ve reached that point,” Blanton said. “We are open to conversations about it. Our goal more than anything is to insure that this collection is preserved for the sake of the industry. That’s what the Keeneland Library is largely about—preserving these kinds of collections, and an interest and a willingness to work with the family and their legal representation to help facilitate what they think is appropriate.”