Thursday, August 31, 2017

Morning after the night before - 20 years on!

Just to give a bit of background to the images below. I had saved up tokens out of The Times to go on a free trip on Eurostar to Paris, sounded like a plan to me! Having never been I thought I would do all the tourist bits on the 2 night trip. Having done the Louvre and Eiffel Tower etc the final evening arrived!
That evening I was wandering the streets and ended up at the Arc de Triomphe and decided to take a random street from there, surprisingly I ended up in the Place de L'alma and the small copy of the Statue of Liberty flame. Speaking to another English couple of who were looking to get to the Arc de Triomphe I pointed them in the right direction. Thinking nothing of it I called it a night and headed back to the hotel.
Upon waking the next morning to the awful news I realised that the accident had happened literally a few hours after I had been above the tunnel. Instinct, curiosity or whatever you call took over and I decided to go back and see what was going on. there were TV crews everywhere and being careful not to speak to anyone I ventured into the tunnel!
The scans of the pictures below speak for themselves:

On returning back to the UK I was also informed that the Captain of my cricket team had also passed away! RIP Skip! Not the best weekend!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Burghley Blog 5

The final day of the 2016 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials! A busy day ahead and it started with a surprise photo shoot of the cakes for the winners which Jon Whowell had in his car. By winners there is one for the winning rider and one for the winning horse. Presented by the George of Stamford.

After this a brisk walk to do the annual photo of the 'Bowler Hat Brigade' who the car parks and are the first people you see when arriving and the last you see on leaving the event.
Next it was up to the SEIB sponsored ride where anybody can ride there own horses along parts of the Cross Country Course and some of the usually unseen parts of the beautiful park.
After a quick trip back to the Media Centre it was straight on to the SEIB Racehorse to Riding class in the Main Arena, this is for ex racehorse that have been given a new challenge as show horses.
Lunch was then the order of the day and preparing for the finale of the event the Top 24 riders going in reverse order. Picking a space between advertising boards inside the arena. I was sat at the east end surprisingly on my own. Was I in the wrong place or did everyone else have the best spot, time would tell I guess but I was happy!
One of my favourite shots is the one below of Bettina Hoy where I love the tail in the air as it goes over the fence.
Last to go was Christopher Burton who with what had gone before had 5 fences in hand on his nearest rival. In a tense round with the full house crowd silent he and his horse Nobilis 18 had 4 fences down going into the last fence. Once he'd cleared it Christopher had to check on the scoreboard to see whether or not he had won.
He had indeed!
Before the presentations a treat for all here in this amazing arena a rousing reception for the 2016 RIO Gold medallist Nick Skelton who was interviewed by Steven Wilde.
Then it was the presentations and Press Conference and the usual bun fight for the picture of the winner with the Land Rover Perpetual Trophy in front of Burghley House surrounded by Land Rover vehicles.
After sorting through my images and sending some to agencies it was time to pack up and leave.
A Big Thank You to all the Competitors for giving us such a wonderful spectacle, the Horse Trials Committee for a wonderful event, the Press Office Team for looking after us so well, my fellow photographer for their company and banter and finally to you all for reading my blogs!
After leaving I ended up following the Team Burton horsebox through Barnack and Uffington which I'm not sure is the best route for a horsebox of that size and it's a good job Chris is better at navigating his horse!
Congratulations Chris and Nobilis18 and I hope you enjoy your cakes!
Can't wait for next year!!!!!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Burghley Blog 4

Cross country day means an early start to arrive before the traffic builds up. Arrived just after 7am.
3 of us had arranged a little photo shoot with the girls from the Dubarry of Ireland stand.

They are spelling out LRBHT from the sign behind in case anyone was wondering!!
After this walk through the shops to get some general images, it's remarkable what you can find and seeing the sun shining on the brushes below was not a sign of thing to come.

I was also thought the idea of the Rugby Ball wine cooler was a novel idea.
Then it was time for the Cross Country to start so I headed over to Leaf Pit which is a Burghley classic. Just before the first horse was due to start the leader after Dressage phase Christopher Burton was riding round the course on his bike and the image below shows the terrifying drop the riders face at this fence and the look on his face it's not much easier on a bike!
Not long after the first horse started the rain began and it didn't stop all day. I went to the Thompsons Wall fence which was in the trees where I could stay dry.
After stopping to say hi to some friends I then went to the Land Rover Trout Hatchery where I stayed under trees for the rest of the day. not long after I arrived I found what I thought was a good spot until Abigail Boulton riding Tilston Tic Toc  lost her reigns and headed straight for me, believe me it came mighty close and the image below is the last one I took before I bottled it and moved the little I could sat on the floor.
There were a couple of fallers but there was no serious injuries so the images are below of Pippa Funnell and Andrew Hoy.

My favourite shot today is of Kristy Short riding Cossan Lad
Well the cameras are drying out and I'm off to bed so I'm ready for the excitement of the final day of this wonderful event.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Burghley Blog 3

Well the day started a bit more overcast than yesterday with some light drizzle so a fleece was the order of the day when I arrived. A walk down towards the house usually comes up trumps for a nice start to the day shot. Surprisingly I managed to get the below shot of Ben Hobday without any vehicles in it which a rarity at that time of the day!

Wandering back to the Media Centre to sign in and have a coffee I realised the attention to detail that goes into these events as seen in the next shot. I resisted the urge to go up behind him and say BOO! even with the big screen stating No Fear! More of this grass feature in 2moro's blog!

Then on to the 2nd day of dressage which normally raises the bar from the previous day but Bettina Hoy's score from yesterday looked a tall order to beat! Mid way through the morning session I decided to stray away from the normal shots that all the photographers get and turn a little arty. Not knowing how this was going to go I looked for some inspiration from the photography gods but they didn't seem to be listening :-( Anyway I soldiered on and the below was the best of the bunch,

After lunch I went back to the traditional shots but always looking for something different if the chance arose. In came Australian Christopher Burton on Nobilis 18 and he blew the score of Bettina Hoy into the nearby River Welland with a score of 30.2. I looked round at his team after he had finished and noticed that his wife Rebekah had been brought to tears of joy by his test.

From the joys of that test in came French rider Rodolphe Scherer and all seemed fine at the start of the test until the Ground Jury led by Sue Baxter deemed his horse Makara De Montiege to be unfit to continue. Rodolphe tried to argue his case but he was eventually eliminated from the event. After all the hard work that goes into getting to an event of the magnitude of Burghley the disappointment was there for all to see and you could not feel anything but sorry for him. I apologise for the image containing 'the portaloos' which from the moment the photographers first entered the arena yesterday have doing our best to not get in any pictures!!!!!!

At the end of the day after sending images to various places and the press conference was over the kind people from Land rover provided special cupcakes, Yum!!!


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Burghley Blog 2

An early (ish) start this morning arriving at Burghley at 7.30. The Media Centre does not open until 8 so went for a wander. Had a few shots in mind and the one below I was particularly pleased with even if there isn't a horse in sight.

After a walk through the shops which were still opening I met up with another photographer and headed to the trees on hack track and took the below picture:

With the dressage about to start I headed to the main arena. 2nd to go Paul Sims went into the lead which he held until the last session of the day when Bettina Hoy from Germany took the lead with an impressive score of 34.5. When her score came up on the board she was quite pleased as you can see in the image below

This year Burghley has some new boxes for the Ground Jury who are in overall control of the event once it has started. In my opinion they look a bit like Beach Huts but they are a vast improvement on the previous ones
During last year's Burghley Jonathan Agnew the BBC's Cricket correspondent was here learning the ropes to cover the equestrian events and the Rio Olympics. Personally the bits I heard I think he did a great job. Nice to see him back in Stamford again looking more relaxed.
With such a vast array of shopping available it can all be a bit too much!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Burghley Blog 1

Hi from The 2016 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, my favourite event of the year.

I thought I would do a blog of my experience while here. Wednesday is the First Vets Inspection at 4pm. I arrived mid morning in glorious sunshine and set about going on a walk of the Cross Country course. One of the areas of the course is The Winners Avenue where every winner has a plaque celebrating there victory. With time on my side I decided to photograph each one.

After photographing all the cross country fences and the main arena which looked particularly stunning in the end of summer sunshine.

The skies changed but no rain came and the vets Inspection went ahead under blue sky and all the horses passed. Pictured below is Mark Todd and NZB Campino from New Zealand.

I particularly like this last photo of Event Director Elizabeth Inman and Course designer Capt. Mark Phillips talking during the Vets Inspection.

More 2moro ..............................

Sunday, February 28, 2016


February has been another good month, Project 366 is still on track! It is making me think a lot more about my photography and is also making me have my camera with me all the time. This month has seen a lot more beautiful sunrises and sunsets some of which I have managed to capture. I am also in the process of setting up the Lincolnshire Picture Library. The month ended with a toast to a good friend and superb photographer Darren Crush who was taken way to early who would have been 40, Cheers Crusher. The second photo is one I have been trying to get for a long time and is even more special getting it with the Flying Scotsman on it's inaugural run. Having finally found the Mallard sign it was a matter of waiting for the right day and weather. I initially wanted it with the sign the right way round but have walked to it the ground fell away and it was impossible without trespassing onto the railway, so I trudged back and the lighting was fine this side and the ground suited it better as well. While waiting for this image 2 horse riders arrived and the first shot is of them which I thought was really nice as well! Happy Snapping!!