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.
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.
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.
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.
I like the juxtaposition on this hunter-equipped English rider atop a very different kind of steed. On the morning of a busy day, she waits for just a moment while her friend stands in line for coffee.
Though images of horses jumping often focus on the apex, I like this shot of McKenna Norris jumping 1.2 meter at Woodside this spring. The sense of motion as her horse lands on the bright footing is gentle, in spite of appearing powerful.
Though English riding has much of its origin in hunts across the fields of rural estates, the sport is just as often trained indoors—particular at spacetime junctures like Salt Lake City on Christmas Eve.
I spent Saturday at Horse Park at Woodside on the peninsula, photographing jumper events for The Plaid Horse. Sunburn aside, it was a productive weekend. I happened upon a particular angle near a jump where riders were forced to make a tight turn immediately after landing. That transition sideways meant some dramatic direction changes.
Some riders were even looking to the next jump around the bend while they were still in the air.
Though most sports have an age of peak ability, English riding seems to be wide open to riders of all ages (though the cost of riding horses can remain a separate barrier.) Today, I wanted to look back at some of my portraits from past horse shows. First, a shot of young Hanna Rose Egan at the 2014 Kentucky Summer Classic.
I’ve heard that dogs and their people start to look similar, but I’ve never heard an equivalent edict for horses and their owners. Perhaps that should be reconsidered in light of this portrait from the 2014 Lake Placid show.