John Stephen Hockensmith studied art and photography at Georgetown College. Hockensmith began his career working for the commonwealth of Kentucky as a state photographer. With training and experience from state government, he left to open a studio and art gallery in 1978 in Georgetown. Throughout the 1980s, he pursued fine arts and exhibited paintings, sculptures, and photographs. In 1986, he had a one-man exhibit of paintings at the Headley-Whitney Museum in Lexington. In 1994, Hockensmith began focusing his career on equine art. Since then, he has published, exhibited, and distributed fine equine art throughout the United States and internationally. Beginning in 2000, he has been under contract with Churchill Downs to do the official Kentucky Derby Winners Print and Winners Collection. Hockensmith’s current client base includes such notables as Toyota of North America, Sky Magazine, Churchill Downs, Lexmark, Universal Studios, and the governor’s office of Kentucky.