07/14/2012 8:40PM

Tony Leonard, equine photographer, dead at age 89

John Engelhardt
Tony Leonard at the 2010 Breeders' Cup.

Tony Leonard, considered one of the most acclaimed equine photographers of all time, died Saturday night in Lexington, Ky., at age 89.

Leonard, born Leonard Anthony Bergantino, gravitated to equine photography after performing in nightclubs and on Broadway following his stint in the Army in World War II. His first benefactors were Brownell Combs of Spendthrift Farm, and the Madden family of Hamburg Place. His conformation shots became the standard in the industry.

In 1994, Leonard won an Eclipse Award for photography. He was awarded the International Photographic Council Lifetime Achievement Award by the United Nations in 2004. And he was the personal photographer to Queen Elizabeth II of England during both of her visits to Kentucky

Leonard is survived by his wife, Adelle, whom he married in 1946. Funeral arrangements are pending.