Tims Portrait | A Masterpiece in The Making.

Tims Portrait, a 2011 gelding by Modern Art USA, was named after part owner, the late Tim Earnshaw. Mr. Earnshaw, a respected trainer and reinsman purchased his namesake as a yearling. Mr. Earnshaw always intended on waiting until the gelding was at least four years old before racing him. Tims Portraits siblings had all been finely built and so he was to be given every chance to mature and fill out. Sadly Mr. Earnshaw wasn’t able to see his gelding race. In early 2016 at age 43 Mr. Earnshaw passed away from cancer. On 6 August, 2016 Tims Portrait’s connections all gathered in Earnshaw’s honour for the four-year-old’s debut. Trained by Kevin Keys and driven by Gary Hall Junior Tims Portrait completed the special moment by winning the race.


Tims Portrait went on to race another 51 starts, with an additional six wins, five seconds and 11 thirds. He earnt his connections $47,858 before retiring in early 2020. Aldo Cortopassi drove and trained Tim’s Portrait in several his wins and placings.


“He was always a lovely natured horse with a great work and racing ethic who always tried his best. He was favourite amongst staff and owners.” Aldo recalls.


After a six-month spell Kristie and Leonie Morrone were offered the striking, leggy gelding. They both thought Tims Portrait, simply known as Tim around the stables would be a good fit for Alex Markowski who took their advice and viewed the gelding.


“He had something special about him and I knew I had to take him home.” Alex recalls.


In July 2020 Tim arrived at Alex’s property and began the transition to his next career. Tim had been worked under saddle during his racing career which made the start of the journey easier. Alex took time to ensure Tim was strong, supple and understood what was being asked of him before undertaking off property, under saddle adventures. Tim was introduced to the competition world through in-hand breed shows, before graduating to his first ridden event in February 2021. His ridden career, like his racing career began with a success and the pair took home the Supreme Standardbred rug at the Friesian Warmblood Ridden Event.


With this promising start the combination spent the next year competing in walk-trot show horse classes and Prep Dressage tests and attending OTTWA Clinics. At home Alex was working on solidifying the striking gelding’s canter.


“I remember when I had my first ride on him in the early days of training and I thought ‘wow, there is something special here’. It is so rewarding to now be able to produce this in open competition and progress his ridden career further.” Alex says.


In June this year the pair attending the OTTWA Clinic at Murray Regional Equestrian Centre where they worked on their canter in open company for the first time.


“It was the perfect way to progress the canter in an open setting under a watchful eye guiding us.” Alex says.


Since this time, they have competed in several Prelim Dressage tests. Most recently they competed in Dressage WA’s State Dressage Championships, scoring in the mid-60’s for each test and receiving wonderful feedback.


Alex enjoys sharing their success with Tim’s racing connections.


“It has been so great knowing how much this horse was loved during his race career, in particular Karen and Tim Earnshaw. Being able to share his show successes with those that knew him during his racing time really is special.” Alex says.


While Tim improves with every event, Alex says his greatest accomplishment so far when they won Grand Champion Walk Trot Ridden exhibit at the Hygain Unofficial Showcase in November 2021. The gelding gave Alex a soft and compliant ride, with the accolades simply an added bonus.


“At every outing we have he makes me laugh and I cherish my walk back to the float. His ears are perked, and he’s looking for someone to come shower him with love (or food!) and gives you a little neigh. He has a heart of gold and will try his best albeit being a little sassy and a show off.” Alex says.


A proud champion of standardbreds, Alex is excited to grow even further in the world of open Dressage and Show Horse competition.


“Through our achievements I hope to educate the equestrian community to the versatility of the standardbreds as a ridden horse. They have so much to offer for those who invest in them.” Alex attests.


While continuing to work on Tim’s canter Alex is looking ahead to the Perth Royal Show, DWA Grassroots Dressage Festival, and agricultural shows. Their long-term goal is to upgrade to Novice Dressage tests, but for now Alex is happy to enjoy their training journey.

  • Photo Credit: Lucky Penny Photography

  • Photo Credit: Lucky Penny Photography

  • Photo Credit: Sherri Wightman Photography

  • Photo Credit: Sherri Wightman Photography

  • Photo Credit: Lucky Penny Photography

  • Photo Credit: Meimipix

  • Photo Credit: Andrew Moore Photography

  • Photo Credit: Lucky Penny Photography