I didn’t go to the Olympics, but I did go to Horse Shows By the Bay two weekends ago to watch the hunter/jumpers and shoot the Grand Prix event of Week Three in the big ring. It was hot. It’s always hot at HSBB, but not as hot as many areas of the country are experiencing in this record breaking sweltering summer. So, I went prepared with sunscreen and a floppy hat that wouldn’t interfere with the camera. It’s become my photo shoot hat for any outdoor excursions.
At any rate, I arrived a little early and had time to wander around doing some random shooting in the various rings (there are five) and in the barn area. Much to my disappointment, the small and medium ponies were all done, and the leadline class never materialized. But I did witness the awards photo op for one of the pony divisions, apparently a tie. (see above) Aren’t these two little girls cute? How about that hat? One can only guess that the co-winner was not too keen about sharing her award as she’s looking pretty glum. Such is horse show life with kids, I guess.
A well turned out hunter on the way to a class. I'm a sucker for these types of head shots.
Get a load of this tiny girl on her big horse. I took lots of photos of her in the warmup ring, and she was having the time of her life, grinning from ear to ear the whole time. Was it her first show? Did her big sister let her ride her horse? Whatever the situation, she handled that big guy with no problems.
Now to the other extreme. I like a flashy pinto as much as the next person, but this girl is "going to need a bigger horse" next year.
I'm always on the lookout for dogs at the horse show and always find a few. This is one photogenic dog of the day.
The warmup ring can get quite crowded as this one is. They all manage to get around without any crashes, all doing their own things. Did you know that the rules of ring riding are similar to rules of the road for cars?
Betsy Van Dyke did a dressage demonstration before the Grand Prix event of the day as she has in past years. Here she and her mount are demonstrating the piaffe, a trot in place.
Having solved the camera problem of the dressage show, I was ready for some fast action, and that’s just what I got in the Grand Prix ring. In fact, more than I bargained for. Here are a few jumping shots for you.
Over the "water jump" with a high vertical.
I'm not a jumping person, but I believe this is called a triple oxer.
Jumpers tend to be hot and show a lot of intensity and "go".
This may have been the most challenging combination on the course, an in and out with only one stride between jumps and over an oxer.
It happens sometimes. As horsemen, we all know the risks and choose to take them. On this day one of the young riders lost her balance over a jump and had a bad fall; bad enough that the ambulance had to be summoned. It took forever to arrive as she cried and screamed in pain. It was unnerving to all of us spectators. Since I felt myself beginning to fry in the sun, I chose to leave when they loaded her in the ambulance. I found out later that she had broken her arm.
The camera performed perfectly in its inaugural debut at a horse show, and I got one killer shot during the jumping. That makes the day very worthwhile in spite of the fallen rider.