Badminton Horse Trials - Commercial Horse Event Photography in Gloucestershire
Since 2002 I have been lucky enough to photograph and work in the media centre at Badminton Horse Trials in Gloucestershire, covering this event which is the highlight of the British Horse Eventing calendar, working for the Press Office under the guidance of the International Horse Photographer Kit Houghton.
I always get butterflies as I drive in for the start of the event, always in awe that I get to work in such beautiful surroundings. It marks the start of my busiest season in my Horse & Dog photography work as the days lengthen and the weather warms.
The Duke of Beaufort's estate is transformed into a marquee village and the grounds surrounding Badminton House into a 5* Cross Country Course. Badminton is a 5 star event, the highest grade and one of only 6 such events in the world. It is such an honour and a privilege to photograph here.
I work primarily for Kit Houghton, I did my work experience with him in 2002, (that is a whole story for another time) but it has resulted in me working for him here at Badminton Horse Trials for the past 20 years.
We provide images for the Photo Library, which is a service making images available to members of the media and to picture desks, worldwide, for instant download.
There are also live social media images to provide of the event as it is happening, covering sponsors fences and advertising, images for future programmes and features as well as documenting a moment in history. Is is so exciting and a bit none stop.
The subject matter infront of our cameras is so beautiful it is hard to take a bad photograph. The house and grounds make for the perfect backdrop. There is all the rider and horse preparations, the warm up zones, the vet checks and trot up areas, then the competition starts with two days of the dressage, followed but the most popular day for spectators, the Cross Country phase, where we have to battle through crowds of up to 110,000 people to get to the Cross Country fence we need for 'that' photograph. There are approximately 45 jumping efforts so getting around the majority of them is challenging, we tend to split them up between is but it still feels like I am a salmon swimming up stream on this day, it is hard work but I wouldn't change it for the world. Then tension builds even more for the last day, after the trot up in front of the vets to check the horses health and wellbeing, it is the Show jumping phase and prize givings and the laps of honour and then before you know it is is over for another year.