Today’s subject is trainer Carleton Brooks of Balmoral, here training his newest hunter, Carleton Z (coincidental naming).
Chaps are not common English riders—britches are more common. The back of his chaps, where one might normally put identification information, is instead emblazoned with the phrase, “You Know My Name” in red. Click through to the full-sized version of this image to see for yourself.
This particular weekend was a bit of a miniature family reunion, as Carleton’s brother (far right) was up to visit from Indiana.
Horse shows are these magical intergenerational spaces where equestrians of all ages come to compete. In the three images below, I found a trio of similar images in which riders at different points in their careers traverse the frame from left to right.
The classic winter picture of clean, fresh snow and bright blue skies seems much easier to come by, ironically, under less-wintery conditions near the beginning or end of the season. Under the snow at the edge of the patch in the foreground, you can see that the grass is still green.
I’m told that visualization is key to a great hunter round, but I’ve never before captured quite so literal a photograph of the process in the warm-up ring.
When it’s time for their rounds, riders have to be ready to head into the ring and perform. Being late is not an option, so “hurry up and wait” is the standard: Lots frantic action to prepare, followed by lots of waiting. The sense of stillness amid chaos that goes with that waiting are captured well, I think, in this image.
When it comes to equines (and their riders), I’ve generally found that attitude is inversely proportional to size.
Anyone who says animals don’t have individual personalities has been spending time with the wrong animals.
Walking across the heat-shimmered horse park with a blue ribbon, the ultra-long shot maybe puts me in mind most of… the Mandalorian? That makes Reuben a very large Child.
Maybe it’s a little slump down in the saddle in the August sun of Kentucky, and maybe the glare is bright… Or maybe there’s a bit of pre-ride swagger.
On a baking summer day at the Kentucky Horse Park, white clothes and white horsehair match well with mirrored sunglasses to stay cool while looking cool.
A year onward from the 2017 Kentucky Summer Classic and Pony Finals, I’m looking back at many of the images I captured. Many of these only saw the light of day previously through my Instagram account, so I thought it’d be appropriate to give a complete spectrum of the the KHP experience. Some of these shots are the from the Rolex Stadium’s Grand Prix, others from the humble warm-up ring; all of them show people focused on the equine world.
These miniature dirt bikes are absolutely ubiquitous at Kentucky Horse Park as easy runabouts when a “full-sized” golf cart would be overkill. (And yes, I appreciate the humor that a tiny golf-cart is the three-row SUV of the horse world.)
Even these tiny bikes are more commonly seen with two riders—particularly in the vicinity of the snack bar.
Passengers are invaluable for coffee-handling duties.
Helmets, mandatory when on horseback, are evidently not à la mode for minibikes.
Every sport has its distinctive style—just has Western riders are known for cowboy boots, chaps, and denim, English riders have their own garb. Though the style is very formal when in the ring, I’m particularly interested by the array of patterns and colors hidden under collars and sleeves that are revealed when in the barn.
St. Lawrence University’s Derby Day finished out the summer horse show season, and I was on hand to get some shots. The day started dry with a dramatic sky, but quickly turned to rain.
Did you know that a group of vultures (of the turkey variety, in this case) in a tree are called a “committee”? I’ll not over-interpret that.
High-collared jackets are the perfect (badass) gear for when the weather turns stormy but you still need to warm up outside before heading into the ring.
Saturday morning, on horseback, in an open field!
The back bench of a horse show golf cart is a performance space for cool/relaxing geometries.