WHEN artist Bethany Vere saw Charlotte Dujardin win gold for Great Britain at the Rio Olympics, it inspired her to get drawing.
But little did she think it would lead to her meeting the dressage rider and the horse in the flesh.
Bethany’s lifelike work caught the eye of the Team GB champion after it was posted online.
After watching Charlotte and Valegro on television, Bethany began drawing the horse and posted her progress on her Facebook page.
And when Bethany’s creation was spotted online by Charlotte, she was invited to visit them at their stables in Gloucestershire.
Bethany said: ‘It all happened absolutely by chance.
‘I absolutely love Valegro and have heard a lot about him.
‘I found a photo on Facebook and some other artwork of him.
‘I decided to take a few weeks out this summer to undertake this massive A1 piece of art.
‘Charlotte messaged me and asked if I’d like to come and meet her.
‘It was amazing. It was very surreal walking in there and seeing Valegro in all his glory.’
As well as showing Charlotte her artwork, Valegro came face-to-face with himself in art form.
Bethany, 22, who has been riding since she was three, gave Charlotte her first print before donating another to charity.
The former marketing student now works full-time on her drawings from her parents’ house.
Bethany, of Fareham, said: ‘I’ve been lucky now that I can take a lot of big commissions.
‘I was at Chichester University but I gave it up because I enjoyed my artwork. It’s been a hard few months.
‘My parents have been great as well. They have been the most supportive parents with what I do.’
She added: ‘I took up art at A-level, but my teacher wanted me to do more abstract work and I wanted to do more realistic art.
‘When I left school I kept my drawings up on the side and then I started properly a year ago when I left university.
‘I wanted to do more equestrian drawings because there’s a niche market for it.’