Stunning skies, terrifying falls and the thrill of the (steeple)chase: Six stunning pictures captured by the racing photographer of the year

The winning portfolio that saw the Racing Post's Edward Whitaker earn the Racing Photographer of the Year award is spectacular.

One look at the images on this page makes it easy to see why the Racing Post’s Edward Whitaker was named racing photographer of the year at the HWPA Derby Awards at the end of last year. He took the accolade for the second year running, and for the ninth time in his career.

This year’s portfolio includes the dramatic shot at the top of this page, which was taken just before morning exercise at Philip Hobbs’s yard in west Somerset.

‘I got there and saw this amazing sky, I could see what was going to happen, but I needed a horse,’ he says.

‘I grabbed the rider [Sean Houlihan, on Leapaway] and asked if I could do the picture. I was lying underneath this ridge, shooting up at the sky and just waiting for them to walk by.’

Truly beautiful — and something of a counterpoint to most of the rest of the portfolio, which are mainly action-orientated. We’ve reproduced a number of them here by kind permission of Edward and the Racing Post.

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Japan (Ryan Moore) beats Crystal Ocean (James Doyle) in the Juddmonte International, York.©Edward Whitaker / Racing Post

The calm before the storm at Lingfield, as Edward took this image moments before a torrential downpour began. ©Edward Whitaker / Racing Post

This picture — taken at Goodwood — was inspired by the Tour de France, which was taking place at the time. ‘It could easily have been cyclists speeding past,’ says Edward. ©Edward Whitaker / Racing Post

Tiger Roll (Davy Russell) wins the Grand National at Aintree.©Edward Whitaker / Racing Post

King’s Odyssey (Adam Wedge) fall at the last fence in the 2m 4f handicap chase at Newbury. ‘Although it’s unfortunate, jockeys falling make great photographs,’ says Edward. Hopefully that’s some consolation to them if they end up in plaster — though in this instance, both horse and rider walked away unhurt.  ©Edward Whitaker / Racing Post