Killingbeck's racing scenes are known only to depict Newmarket and the present work is no exception. Based primarily in London, many of the horses he painted were racehorses including those belonging to the Earl of Eglington and the Marquess of Rockingham. He painted Mr. Tattersall's famous 'High Flyer' in 1783, also depicted by Stubbs. About 1776, he worked for Lord Rockingham who had quarrelled with Stubbs, and who turned to Killingbeck to paint his horses. It is recorded that he was paid 10 gns for 'Brood Mares and Foals'. Sally Mitchell notes, 'Killingbeck's horse portraiture is really quite fluent. He pays fine attention to finish and detail.' (The Dictionary of Equestrian Artist, Woodbridge, 1985, p. 295).
Stubbs's influence on Killingbeck is evident through his work in the 1770s and 1780s. The horse's stance in the present painting is reminiscent of Stubbs's Prancing Horse by a Lake (1775; Christie's, London, 22 May 2003, lot 28). It conveys the graceful movement and energy of the horse balanced by the serene landscape beyond.