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.
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.
At the Kentucky Horse Park, the Kentucky Summer Classic has wound down and Pony Finals are about to begin. This particular arrangements of trainers, riders, and well-wishers was arrayed at the the warm-up ring, and the gradient of shadows beneath the tree branches brought to mind some modern take on a Renaissance painting: linear, repeating patterns and strong, horizontal lines.
Riders are the stars of the show (in this case, the Kentucky Summer Classic), but I love to see the way the natural form of horse and rider fit into the lines and structures, tents and fences, of the grounds. Where do the spectators, trainers, grooms (and photographers) fit into that equation? Are we also a part of the horse show structure?