"Horses of Qatar" by Vanessa von Zitzewitz - Flying Horse
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“Horses of Qatar” by Vanessa von Zitzewitz

During a long and intense period of more than two years, the German photographer Vanessa von Zitzewitz has captured more than 27.000 pictures of the horses owned by the Emir of Qatar. This colossal project has been collected in the book ‘The Horses of Qatar – Legend of Al Shaqab’, published in October 2009 by teNeues, in occasion of the annexed exhibition in Paris.

I wanted to show the 'behind the scenes' of that gigantic organism that is Al Shaqab

“Horse of Qatar” - Horses under water shooting

The whole project has somehow become a love declaration for Vanessa, who owns eight horses on her own and is a showjumper. She reveals: “I wanted to show the ‘behind the scenes’ of that gigantic organism that is Al Shaqab: feeding, grooming the horses and the army of cleaners who takes care of them”.

The internationally recognized photographer is known fo her  evocative portraits: she has immortalized movie stars, the luminaries of fashion and art and important political figures. She collaborates with prestigious galleries and her work has been seen in some of the worlds most important art fairs.

Horses of Qatar

Horses of Qatar

Vanessa von Zitzewitz
A real must have for horse lovers

I discovered this book – a real must have for horse lovers – on Vimeo, thanks to some ‘making of videos’ that Zitzewitz shared.

Just take two minutes to enjoy her amazing underwater shots of a white horse, moving fluidly in the immense blue oval pool of the prestigious equestrian center in Qatar. The video shows how the shoot with a strong visual impact, has become the emblem of his ambitious project.

Making of “Horse of Qatar”

In the Arabian Peninsula, horses are an essential part of society. They represent culture, wealth, and mobility, as well as being the living embodiment of grace and power. Here breeding and training of horses are a science if not an art. Thanks to the patronage of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, and his daughter, Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, who is also head of the emirate museums, Vanessa has enjoyed unprecedented access to the royal stables, which are home to the most majestic thoroughbreds in the world.

  • Grooming horses is one of my favorite moments at the barn. As a little girl, I would spend hours feeding and grooming neighbors’ horses since I didn’t have my own. Other than today, at that time riding was more of a complementary part in my horsey relationships. ...

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