From Hunters and Jumpers... to Dressage and Polo
Equestrian Marketing, Public Relations and Event Management

Facebook   Twitter   Pinterist
Equestrian Photography
Join our Mailing List
Powered by ConstantContact

Phelps Media Group is a public relations and marketing firm dedicated to the promotion and success of the equestrian industry.

Press Release


Walt Peterson's "Completely Composed"

Click on the above photos for details and a high resolution version.

Photographs may be used free of charge only in relation to the PMG press releases they pertain to.

Fine Artist Walt Peterson Creates a Portrait of a Lifetime of Tom Matthews’ Horse of a Lifetime

Written by: Lauren Buettner
Client: Walt Peterson
Release Date: 2014-05-29

Wellington, FL – May 29, 2014 – The portrait titled “Completely Composed,” a 38 x 33 oil painting on linen masterfully created by Walt Peterson, represents a horse that holds a very special place in rider and trainer Thomas Matthews’ heart. Firestone is a horse that Matthews formed an inseparable and unique bond with, both inside and outside the show ring.

“He was one of those very special animals in my career,” remarked Matthews. “We clicked immediately. On top of that he was a wonderfully sweet, lovable animal, and to look at him on the ground–he was breathtaking.”

He started his show career as a grand prix dressage horse, training to be an Olympic contender for dressage rider James Armstrong and owner Patricia Ward. Firestone was determined that dressage was not for him.

“They decided Firestone didn’t want to do that. It got to the point where he was pretty naughty,” chuckled Matthews. “They couldn’t get him in the ring. He was running out of the dressage arena in the middle of tests.”

Matthews came into the picture when his friend Armstrong asked if he would work with the horse. Armstrong hoped that Matthews could guide Firestone to a career he enjoyed using his expertise in the hunter ring. Both parties agreed that the talented and well-bred Hanoverian needed to find a niche. He was 10 years old when Matthews started him in the pre-greens. He was a smaller horse of only 16h, but had the agility and power to succeed in jumping.

“He only got better and better, and by the time I did him as a first year horse, he was outrageous,” explained Matthews.

Matthews did not simply consider Firestone as a stepping stone in his career, but also a friend. He had a connection that no other rider had even come close to forming with the gelding. The pair consistently rode to many championships in the 3’ hunters, and Firestone was a crowd favorite.

For Peterson, who specializes in realism, his goal was to create a vivid and realistic image that jumps off the canvas. He wanted to capture the special bond between rider and horse.

“None of the portrait artists I’ve ever seen can come close to comparing to the work that Walt does,” confided Matthews.

Peterson exquisitely recreated a scene of Matthews and Firestone jumping a natural stone obstacle on a foggy summer morning in State College, PA. The original shot was cherished by Matthews because of how Firestone appeared to jump towards the viewer. Now, the stunning portrait is part of Peterson’s treasured collection.

“Each time he revised it, the animal came more and more to life,” Matthews said. “The musculature and everything else just came alive. That’s the type of artist he is. I don’t think he is willing to put anything out there with his name on it until he sees perfection in what he is trying to portray. He has so far surpassed anything I could have ever imagined.”

About Walt Peterson - Fine Artist
A master fine artist specializing in realism of people, horses and pets. Peterson is a painter of life, possessing the innate ability to bring all subjects to life.

To learn more about Walt Peterson the artist and to preview his portfolio, visit his website at or visit his Facebook page by clicking here.


Home | What We Do | Our Clients | Releases | Meet the PMG Staff | Contact Us
Photo Gallery | Featured Articles | RSS |

© 2020 Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Blvd., Suite 201, Wellington, FL 33414

All photography may only be used in conjunction with a related press release.

We do not sell our email lists or share our lists with other companies or individuals.