If somebody was to ask me what my all time favourite event to photograph was, it would hands down be the easiest question to answer. DRESSAGE. Having competed in dressage nationally myself until 2011 due to injury, I quite literally could live and breathe dressage. Although I don’t compete myself any more, I have been studying and teaching flatwork/schooling and am extremely happy to sit for hours on end and watch others competing and if I am photographing the event? Even better!
I know what the riders will be looking for in their photos, which movements to photograph which will show off how magnificent their horse is, showing how many hours of preparation has gone into producing such a nice test. And if I can give them a photograph at the end of the day that they can cherish, then I have done my job!
Although the main aim is to get photos of the horse & rider trotting down a diagonal or up the centre line, my favourite moment to capture of the entire test, is right at the end just after their ‘Halt & Salute’. It is at this moment, you see the pride, the joy and the relief of completing the dressage test. You can see how happy the rider is with the horse, how relieved they are that it is over… and that they can actually breathe.. because believe me you tend to hold your breath through a dressage test! Who needs to breathe anyway?!
I was asked to photograph Gipping Riding Societies Spring Dressage show at the incredibly beautiful Crows Hall in Debenham on Sunday and wow were we lucky with the weather. It was a beautiful day, and there were many competitors with some absolutely gorgeous horses and ponies! I had a fantastic day and everybody was so lovely and welcoming. A fab day all round.