WOW two days of great riding and fun times had by everyone who attended this GREAT Event, first thing Saturday - Day one of the weekend the Bicentennial grounds where swallowed up by horse floats, campers, competitors, horses and cars the seen of something big was about to start. Stores and Marques being erected, the coffee man had a long line of steady customers, the BBQ was sizzling and the buzz of competitors as they arrive to report in and collect there numbers and info for the day ahead. There was no shortage in choosing what to photograph as it was on for young and old alike. Myself and my assistant photographer Lyn Muirhead selected to cover Dressage first as there where arena's as far as the eye could see full of splender, riders in their number one outfit and horses with make up on, manes plattered and bling glowing looking all bushy eyed and ready to strut their stuff in the competition arena.
Saturday night star level showjumping was a treat to watch as the competitors, families and friends enjoyed all the entertainment on hand with food and the bar was a buzzing, band and party atmosphere it was all happening ... for us photographers an opportunity to practice our night shooting skills and to watch and learn from Equestrian's Master of Photography Stephen Mowbray in action as he captured riders and horses at their best under flood lighting in the main arena.
Sunday - Day two started off similar to the first and the weather was kindly shining down on us, we decided to cover the Cross Country (XC) all day from the start, we had a FANTASTIC day capturing the skills of riders of all levels and ages from top to bottom everyone thoroughly enjoyed their XC courses some more than others like this AMAZING rider Shamiece Hazell with the trust of her furry friend in total control held her reins in one hand, showing the peace symbol with her other hand and a huge SMILE 4 ME as they jumped Log Pile 15 red of EvA95cm height ... wow so professionally down a 1st for me as an Equestrian Photographer ... her talents and riding skills at the highest level which shows the talents of young Australian riders and that the sports future is in good hands.
The 3 star riders copped a wee bit of rain late Sunday afternoon on the XC course but as many scattered to shelter the riders continued as it didn't dampen their enthusiasm & spirits, as a show of support, we stayed out in the elements too to capture the riders and horses during all weather conditions ... shortly after it began it stopped and a rainbow appear in the sky's above descending into the local church steeple how fitting a sign from past riders smiling down on the event from above with fond memories and past friendships.
Not long after that the days Eventing had came to its end and with no daylight savings the darkness fell quickly, where the Events Presentations where conducted at the Clubhouse an amazing end to a great weekend of Equestrian activity as those outstanding riders names where announced as the best of the best and true Champions at the highest level in this great sport documented in history this twenty third day of April 2017.
Until we meet at the next Event take care and remember MY motto: KEEP SMILING 4 ME Ian Vaughan Photography.