Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Who would decide to do a cover photo today?!

Well, I suppose the answer would be Shires! The plan behind today's shoot was good- or genius (it was my plan after all) and that was to photograph all three finalists in the sunny summer month of August as there are few photographs that can't be helped be a bit of sunshine. As our three finalists are busy people, they sent over all their available dates and, to cut a long story short today was THE day that they were all available. So, we had a chat with our friends at Talland, sorted today out, prayed for sunshine, I mean, after all it IS August and...what do you know...we caught the tail end of hurricane Bill (I believe that is the hurricane's name anyway).

So, what did we do? We ploughed on of course, the weather was better than on the Cover Star assessment day (granted, that was torrential rain) but the light levels weren't brilliant so our photographer had to work his magic. All of the cover star finalists (that's Natalie, Alex and Mary) show jumped first thing, then we had a well deserved cup of tea and regroup. We planned to do the next session on the drive at Talland with horses which we did, then we had lunch and finished off with some horseless shots. The weather did deteriorate and there was a serious breeze (and a few shots where the girls' hair is a little on the vertical side) but all in all, everything considered, I think that the day went very well...all we have to do now is keep everything crossed that the photos look OK!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Brilliant day at Hartpury International

Sorry this is a bit late...I was going to write this blog entry last week to tell you all about the great day that I had at Hartpury International. I went on the Wednesday which was the BYEH day and the first inspection for the * and ** classes, so there was plenty going on and we got the chance to catch up with three of our Performance riders.
The first rider we met up with was Aaron Millar who is one of our newest Performance Rider recruits. He had his top horse and a mare with serious potential at Hartpury...he also rode a friend's horse in the BYEH class where he rode beautifully- one of those people that is fabulous to watch but you are green with envy throughout- but hey ho! Anyway, we took some pictures and interviewed him in front of the camera for when we launch our revamped website.
Next up, we met Nici Wilson and Mini Mr Bigglesworth (her horse) who is the sweetest skewbald horse I've ever met...he just stood there chomping on the grass oblivious to the fact he was at an International horse trials. We spoke to Nici in front of the camera too and took some pictures of her- it was lovely to meet up with her and, again, we will get some info about her and her horses up on the revamped website.
Last but certainly not least, we met up with Julie Tew and saw her with Ballagan and Lord of the Owls- two very sweet horses who seemed to be taking the world in their stride. It was great to see them all.

Hartpury is a really, really super place. We were lucky enough to be able to have a look round at their indoor arena, outdoor arena and stables-have a look at their website if you're interested, it's

Anyway, tomorrow I'm off to a photoshoot- so let's hope it's not going to rain, I seem to have a knack for finding the rain at the moment. I've been out on three work outings this August- cover star, a local photoshoot and Hartpury and each every time I have got wet. So, if anyone's got any influence on the weather, I could really do with some sunshine tomorrow-we're snapping 2010 spring turnouts!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Brilliant Cover Star Semi Final!

Well,I have just returned home from a brilliant cover star semi final. All 10 people arrived bright and early at Talland nr Cirencester and the 'fun' started at 9am! Everyone had an introduction to the team, got equipped in appropriate kit, had a briefing about the day and then had a look around the Talland stable yard that has the most amazing horses in it! As everyone approached the outdoor arena for lessons to begin, the heavens opened. Half the group took part in an hour jump lesson, half had an hour's flat lesson with two of Talland's brilliant instructors. Many of the riders changed horses within the hour and then it was time for a total change, so the 10 flat riders moved over to the jumps and visa versa. Well, it rained again (you could say that the rain was the theme of the day) and the lessons took place over the next hour. After two hours and numerous drownings, the group retired to get changed and dry whilst lunch was being prepared. All riders were truly excellent, we had some flying changes in both arenas, some hair raising jump moments and a few misplaced poles...but it was very good all the same. An excellent lunch was served and then all the semi finalists were interviewed. After this, everyone was thanked for their attendance and dismissed...the final three will find out that they were successful in the next few the website for voting!