Equine artist Michael Jeffery has died at the age of 72 after a long battle with cancer.
Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Jeffery was based in Newmarket in Britain at the time of his death.
Up to 1969 he was self-taught until he went to Britain for two years and studied equine portraiture privately in London with an artist of international repute. He also spent some time studying the work of the masters in the sporting and landscape fields.
He returned to New Zealand in 1971 and continued to specialise in equine art, before moving to Australia in 1972 to take up the Victoria Racing Club’s ‘Australian Racehorse of the Year’ commission. He painted the award winners for 14 years.
Jeffery travelled to the USA, UK and Ireland to fulfill commissions, and in Australia painted winners of the AJC Derby and the Golden Slipper Stakes and worked with a team of artists to paint seven large historic panels on the ceiling of the public stand at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne.
In 1987 he moved to France to participate in an international exposition of equine art in Chantilly. He stayed there for 10 years, receiving commissions to paint winners of significant races in Italy, France and the UK, before moving to Newmarket in 1997.
There, he painted out of a studio in All Saints Road. In recent months he had been working on a portrait of Frankel, commissioned by the late Sir Henry Cecil.
Jeffery’s work is represented at the National Horseracing Museum and in private collections worldwide.