This picture has traditionally been associated with 'Lord Seymour'. Lord Henry Seymour, a prominent patron of the turf and a member of both the Paris-based English Jockey Club and Pigeon-Shooting Club, was officially the son of Francis Charles Seymour-Conway, 3rd Marquess of Hertford (1777-1842), and his wife, Maria Emily Seymour-Conway, née Fagnani (1770/71-1856), the French adopted daughter of George Augustus Selwyn (1719-1843). However, it is possible that he was in fact fathered by Count Casimir de Montrond (1768-1843). Born in Paris in 1805, just after the detention of his father (Seymour-Conway, 3rd Marquess) for landing in France after the breakdown of the Treaty of Amiens, Lord Henry spent the rest of his life in France.
Together with Louis-Philippe, the Duc d'Orléans, who built two large stables at Chantilly, Lord Henry was the main owner of racehorses in France during this period, importing British horses, trainers and jockeys. It is possible that the Duc, as de Dreux's most influential patron, was responsible for introducing the artist to Lord Henry. This painting appears to have been executed in the year after de Dreux's Interieur d'Ecurie had won him immediate fame at the Paris Salon (1831). A preparatory watercolour, signed and dated 'Alfred Dedreux 1832' (lower left) shows the horse at a less dramatic and daring angle (Départment des Arts Graphiques, Musée du Louvre, Paris) (fig. 1). In 1833, the Paris-based English Jockey Club (founded by Thomas Byron in 1825) split into two bodies, the Jockey Club and a society for the encouragement of horse breeding in France, and Lord Henry was made the first president of both organisations. He won the prix du Jockey Club four times, but quit the turf in 1842.