At the weekend I attended Bishop Burton Horse Trials (Saturday 27th - Sunday 28th May), in Beverley, Yorkshire.
It was my first event taking photo's for Eventing Worldwide, and I admit I was quite nervous and felt a little under pressure, I really wanted to make sure to take some good photo's to impress the team for my first event.
We arrived a little late on Saturday so I headed straight for the cross country course, set amongst some very beautiful scenery, and a lots of hills! I made my way around the course taking photo's at each fence, before heading to the show jumping arena to take photo's there.
The weather wasn't as warm as it had been, and I did have to run for shelter under the tree's a few times during some light showers.
Saturday the sun came back out for another day of eventing, we got there nice and early so I spent some time taking photo's of the dressage, followed by show jumping, then back out onto the cross country course. Saturday's eventing included the Intermidate section which had some of my favourite riders competing, including Ben Hobday and Nicola Wilson.
I stayed a while at the water jump, always a favourite for spectators and photographers.
After the intermediate section I headed back to the car where my boyfriend was cooking up a lovely lunch on the barbeque!
After lunch I headed back to the show jumping arena, before spending the rest of the afternoon on the cross country course.
All in all it was a fantastic weekend, a well organised event, beautiful venue and lots of sunshine.
I spent the next couple of days working on the laptop, processing the images before sending them over to Eventing Worldwide, I'm very proud to see my images published on a top media publication, you can see them via the link below:-
I am now preparing for The Messingham show tomorrow, a local show with British Showjumping, inhand and ridden showing, unaffiliated showjumping and gymkhana games.
Then next up is Bramham Horse Trials which I am super excited about!
🌟I would like to announce that I am now an official photographer for Eventing Worldwide!🌟
Officially added to the list of photographers on the Eventing Worldwide website :)
🐴📷 I'm very excited to be part of the team and look forward to working with them :) 🐴📷
At the weekend I attended Lincoln Horse Trials, another local one and one I've attended before. Due to car trouble I was only able to go on the Sunday; but it was a lovely day!
I started with the show jumping, found a spot on an embankment which was a great view point, set up my tripod and camera and began taking photographs. The weather was dry with some sunshine, but it was so windy! Lincolnshire Showground is very flat and very exposed to the elements.
I took lots of photo's of the show jumping, and a couple of a videos, before heading off towards the cross country course, passing the show jumping warm-up area on the way so I stopped there for a little bit to capture a couple of riders warming up.
Once I reached the cross country course however, a section had just come to an end, with a short interval before the next section started, so it was time to grab some lunch!
Once armed with some food and drink, I returned to the course, set up my camera, put up my little seat, got comfortable and multi-tasked by eating lunch and photographing at the same time - not an easy task to be honest, a bite of a burger, put the burger down, pick up camera, take a couple of the shots, put camera down, pick up burger; and repeat every minute or so!
Not long after finishing my lunch, my boyfriend and daughter arrived (they'd dropped me off earlier and gone shopping), and we moved to another section of the course. I found a spot at fence 17, a combination of three elements. I was then approached by Peter Hayward, who runs the radio station Siren FM, who interviewed me about what I do, I was so nervous! After hearing the interview though I was really pleased with it, you can listen to it via a video clip I uploaded to my facebook page.
I then moved to a spot in the middle of the course, with seven jumps in sight! Three jumps to my left, four jumps to my right. As one horse was jumping the jumps on my right, another horse was jumping those to my left, so I was literally spinning in a circle!
Getting dizzy and deciding I had enough shots of this part of the course I moved again, this time to the start box and finish line, with the last fence and collecting ring in sight too.
Then as before, getting a few shots then moving on, getting shots at a couple of jumps before deciding to settle at the 'canon jump', where I stayed for a while.
It really was a lovely course and I didn't manage to make my way around the whole of the course, maybe 3/4 of it, completely missing the water jump!
Overall a lovely day, wonderful venue and I'm pleased with the photo's I took (Which will be uploaded ASAP, my apologies if you're waiting for those, I'll have them all processed and uploaded within the next day or two.)
My next plan of action is to await press accreditation for Belton International Horse Trials, once I have that I can then start taking bookings for Belton, so do keep an eye out on my facebook page for any updates :)
Well what an exciting event Oasby was! It was my first time staying over for a full 4 days of competition, and I thoroughly enjoyed, a fantastic experience!
We rented a wonderful camper van from Bumble Campers (highly recommended) and arrived at Oasby on Thursday (albeit a little late) but I got straight to work, unpacked my camera and made my way over to the show jumping area, while my boyfriend and Mya got to work setting up the camper.
It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and the sky was blue and clear, I photographed a couple of show jumping rounds before making my way over to the cross country warm up/collecting ring, photographing the riders warming up, preparing for their turn, as well as catching a couple of riders going over the first jump.
I found a spot nicely situated between the collecting ring, the start box, the finish line and the first jump. The finish line is one of my favourite spots to photograph as I like to capture the rider's finishing, usually with big smiles on their faces, patting and praising their horses.
I greeted a few riders that I knew and also approached some new faces. I'm a shy person with social anxiety, so going up to new people to say hello fills me with dread, but I managed to muster up some courage at this event, greeting people, introducing myself and making friends.
After a while I returned to the van for some lunch, I always force myself to take regular breaks, otherwise I can get so caught up in what I'm doing, completely focused on taking pictures, that I forget to eat and drink! Our camper van was parked next to the show jumping warm up area so I could sit, relax and eat while watching the horses, perfect!
After lunch I returned to the show jumping ring with my camera, finding a spot directly in between the warm up and the actual ring, so I could capture both areas.
I then headed out on to the country course, capturing some behind the scenes moments as I passed through the lorry park, a busy area with everyone rushing about, riders and grooms working together to get the horse's ready. This is my favourite place to be, and my favourite to photograph. I always try to be discreet and not distract anyone, as they're all so busy and focused, making sure I'm not getting in the way of anyone.
Cutting through the lorry park I reached an area with about 3 separate jumps in sight, with beautiful scenery in the background. When out on the actual course I always watch at least one horse run the course, so I know where I need to stand, and what route they're going so I don't get trampled! Once I knew where I wanted to be and what angle I set the camera up and began shooting away; horse's galloping past me every couple minutes.
Once I felt happy with the number of photo's I'd taken at that particular place I moved along again, this time to the last fence, capturing a few rider's on route.
When the final rider passed the finish line it was time to pack up, I returned to the van for dinner, took the dog (Ozzie) for a walk and a nosey around the trade stands, greeted some of the BEDE officials and checked on the scoreboard, then back to the van to watch a movie, it wasn't long before we all fell asleep, although it was very cold!
We began the second day by taking an early drive out to a supermarket to grab some essentials, then back to start the day with dressage. Because we'd arrived late the day before I'd not had the chance to catch any of the dressage, most of which are run in the morning, particularly at one day events. So on Friday I was glad to start photographing dressage, one of my favourite because both horse and rider are so immaculately presented, with plaited manes and tails, groomed to perfection, and riders looking smart and elegant.
The dressage warm up area always seems so chaotic, everyone practicing their tests while trying to avoid colliding with other competitors!
The weather was dry and overcast, which is actually my favourite weather to work in, especially when the sky is cloudy and white, a perfect clear background for photographs and no sunlight to contend with.
I spent quite a while taking photo's of the dressage, but after a while I returned to the van for a much needed coffee and some breakfast.
After breakfast I captured some show jumping, then made my way out onto the cross country course. I wanted to capture different fences to the previous day, so I had more variety in my photographs, but I still only managed to cover only one half of the course, nearing the end of the day I was using my tripod as a walking stick!
On Saturday however, rested up and ready for a new day, I ventured further out onto the cross country course, out towards the water jump (always a favourite), and captured the Pony Trials and BE90 competitors. Then following the route of the course back round to the dressage area, capturing riders on route. After spending some time taking photo's of the wonderful young rider's and their ponies, I began to feel very poorly and fatigued.
For those who don't know me personally, I suffer from a chronic pain illness called Fibromyalgia. Sometimes I'm just unable to continue doing what I love, which is never any easy decision to make, admitting defeat. However by Saturday mid-afternoon I could barely walk, so I had to make the tough decision to pack up for the day, take it easy and rest. I returned to the van, and started working away on the laptop. Transferring images, backing up and processing.
Sunday, the last day of Oasby, and I was still feeling a little rubbish, I managed to capture some show jumping as it wasn't far away from the van, I took my little fold-up stool with me so I could sit and take photo's. I managed to get some photo's of the dressage too, the weather was miserable and wet, but I still got some good shots. By 3pm however, unable to physically get out to the cross country course, my illness hindering me terribly and the weather not helping matters either, I waved my little white flag.
Although I was extremely upset to have had to finish early, as soon as we arrived home I was straight onto the laptop, working on all the photo's I had taken over the 4 days.
My favourite part of photography has to be when I send the finished photo's to the riders and hearing their lovely comments and feedback. I was feeling poorly, guilty for quitting and tired, but when I hear those positive reactions it definitely cheers me up, makes me feel more confident and makes me smile :)
It's a rainy Sunday and I've just finished editing and uploading the photo's from Epworth, yesterday was lovely and the event was very well run and organised, well done to Epworth Equestrian ltd!
I didn't take many photo's, I usually take hundreds more, but I am happy with the ones I did get, particularly the behind the scenes ones, as that is my focus this season.
It was a successful 'trial run' for Oasby next weekend, and I've had some good feedback so far from riders that I photographed.
I discovered a flaw in the 'behind the scenes' photo's though, it's difficult to match the photograph to the rider! Usually when I photograph rider's in competition I can easily match their number to the name on the entries lists, whereas when the horse is tied up to the lorry being tacked up etc there isn't a number to match up with a rider!
However at Oasby I do have bookings, which means I'll know who I'm photographing, and not just snapping any horse I see and not knowing who it is, so I'm hoping Oasby I'll be more organised and be able to easily match the photo to the horse/rider.
One thing that always bothers me is when I photograph someone and I don't know who it is, therefore I can't send them the photo; I love to personally send my photo's to riders.
So I still have a few things to figure out before next weekend, but I am very excited about it!
Welcome to my very first blog post, I'm going to write about what I get up to as an equine photographer, travelling around the UK going to shows and events.
I have a lot planned for March, with 4 BE horse trials on the calendar which I'm very excited about.
The first is Epworth Horse Trials, just a 20 minute drive away from home so it's a nice easy one, no need to plan any camping or overnight stays.
It wasn't originally on my calendar, and I'm not officially going as a photographer, just a spectator and a family day out. I'm going with my partner Dan, my daughter Mya and our dog Ozzie. Dan hasn't been to an event like this before, so it's a good introduction for him, to see how horse trials are run etc.
We're currently planning 4 days away for Oasby Horse Trials next weekend, we'll be camping at that one and I've got lots of bookings which I'm excited about :)
I'm focusing mainly on behind the scenes at the moment, taking photo's of the horses and riders before the competition; grooming, tacking up and in the warm up rings. I want to capture those 'back stage' moments, rather than in the ring.
So Epworth is going to be a trial run for Oasby really, more relaxed, no rushing about and just having a nice day out! I'll still take lots of photographs which I'll edit and upload to the gallery within the next couple of days.
So, I'm going to get my camera packed up and head on over to Epworth, I hope you enjoy reading my blogs and I'll write again soon :)