Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dressage By The Bay, 2012

Working Trot, Intermediare musical freestyle
Last Saturday I took my big camera and headed for Dressage By the Bay at Flintfields Horse Park near Traverse City, Michigan. It’s just a twenty minute drive for me, and this show is the first of a five week group of shows through the month of July and into August. 

After consulting the online class schedule, I decided to go late in the afternoon for the musical freestyles. There were three classes of musical freestyle: young riders, Intermediare and Grand Prix. Each class had only a few riders in it, and the weather didn’t cooperate much as it got a bit cloudy about the time I arrived. Not the best lighting for photography, but whatcha gonna do? The sun did come out briefly, and those photos were some of my best for the day. 

In addition, I chose a bad shot to shoot from since the boards for the dressage arena often cut off the horses' feet, as above. Next time I'll know to shoot from a different spot. 

I hit another snag with my camera when it wouldn’t shoot continuously at its usual ripping pace. It had been working fine when I tested it at home, but of course it didn’t at the show, so I didn’t get the action shots I had hoped for except for a few by happenstance. 

Heading for the warmup ring, Dressage By The Bay
I had some time to kill before the musical freestyles began, so I took a stroll through the barns area and got some good shots there. I love to do those candid behind-the-scenes shots as well as those in the arena, and sometimes they can be more interesting. Here are a few of the shots I got with some notes on each: 
I couldn't pass up this beautiful photo of a very wet horse at the wash rack with his young owner 

Grand Prix musical freestyle, stallion and rider

This Friesian was a crowd favorite with his high action, winning his class, too.

This handsome fellow was a handful but had beautiful movement and won his class
I was a bit disappointed that the show seems to have shrunk in size since I last attended 2-3 years ago. It’s hard to understand why the dressage riders aren’t coming up here for the show since the facility is top notch and management is getting very high ratings from the hunter/jumper riders who come up for three weeks of Horse Shows By the Bay. The Traverse City area is beautiful and has many summer activities to tempt the riders during their down times, including the wonderful Grand Traverse Bay beaches and boating activities. 

Enjoy the photos, but please remember that they are protected by copyright, so please do not copy without asking permission. 

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