John Ferneley, Sr. (1782-1860) was a British equestrian artist who specialized and mastered sporting scenes and equestrian portraits. He was born in Thrussington, a small village in the district of Leicestershire, England as the youngest of six to a wheelwright father. Ferneley’s raw talent was discovered by a duke who encouraged him to apprentice under the artist Benjamin Marshall. It was under his tutelage that Ferneley flourished and would continue on to attend the Royal Academy School. He published his first piece three years after being discovered and after receiving a large commission for a painting, would become a favorite equestrian artist in Britain by the upper class dukes and earls.
By 1817, he established a studio in Melton Mowbray, England, a borough of Leicestershire whose hunting culture was booming at the time and proved to be highly advantageous to his painting career. John Ferneley, Sr. eventually built a house there where he remained for the rest of his life.