The Cheshire County Show at Tabley, Knutsford in Cheshire held over 2 days in June is a fantastic opportunity for both Amateur and Professional Photographers to hone their skills or try new subjects to shoot. The show ground is huge and covers all aspects of the countryside from agriculture and farming to show jumping to dog shows to the Women’s Institute cake making. There are also exhibitions in the arenas on the day showing flyball, if you fancy trying to stop the action of a fast paced dog racing to retrieve the ball, demonstrations of birds of prey or puppy training, to death defying motorbike stunts. That isn’t counting the numerous food, art and craft stalls and other exhibits. It’s a photographer’s paradise of photographic opportunities.
This year I spent most of my time around the horse section with some of the Bolton & District Riding Club Show riders competing it had a pull for me to see how their jumps went. That will be in a later blog.
One of the main attractions for me at the event, not just as a photographer, but as a horse lover and a rider, albeit no where near as good as the riders who compete, is the British Showjumping. The size of the fences they jump look high when you watch them on television, but when you stand near one watching a horse fly over them you really do appreciate the skill and danger that this level of competing consists of.
The two photographs above gives you an example of the height of some of the jumps. The horse has to use it’s hind legs to leap over what is literally it’s own height. Impressive skill from both horse and rider.
A lovely shot of the rider jumping over, although as you can just see the fence was just knocked down at the end.
As you can see in the background there were lots of spectators watching the showjumping, not just equine photographers.
Charlotte Flack sailing over the jump. With a very fast shutter speed, I was able to capture the horse’s tail as it flew high over the jump without it being a blur. Fast shutter speeds are essential for equine photography and also for action dog photographer, as you will have seen in some of my dog photographs.
The above shot is one of my favourites from the event. Charlotte jumping a double. This photograph captures perfectly not just the height, but the length of this challenging jump. You can see the focus of both rider and horse, as the horse, leaps and stretches her (I think it’s a her) body, which as you can see the jump is longer than the horse. They did clear this jump perfectly.
Love the angle of this shot. Using a long lens 400mm I was able to zoom in and get into a position where the horse was riding into my field of view. Allowing me to capture a shot with the horse looking straight to camera during the jump. Another of Charlotte Flack showing how it’s done.
Below is Angie Thompson, fantastic rider, as are all of them. It was nice to have a little chat with Angie after her ride, lovely lady and always a joy to watch ride as you can see her bond with her horse as they cover the course.
Another of my favourites from the day. Completely flying over the fence, as you can see the horse’s feet are all tucked under to get clear of the fence. Lovely sharp shot of Angie and her horse using a shallow depth of field allowed me to blur some of the background so all the focus is on horse and rider.
If you attended Cheshire Show this year I hope you had a wonderful day like I did or maybe you will attend next year after reading this.
As an Equine and Dog Photographer I don’t just attend events, I am also available for private shoots of you and your horse, out and about or in the stable yard, capturing that special relationship you have with your horse. If you want more details or to enquire about a booking use the contact form or email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great week!