The sitter, Wilson Gale, of Conishead Priory, succeeded to the estate of his cousin, Thomas Braddyll and took the surname and arms of Braddyll in 1776. Sittings for this portrait are recorded from November 1780 to January 1781 and a payment of 70gns. was entered for the painting in 1780 (Ward and Roberts, op. cit.).
According to Ward and Roberts, the horse was painted by Sawrey Gilpin, P.S.A., R.A. (1733-1807) and 'is apt to steal the eye, being so exceedingly fine'.