Park Street might have been named for a different park (the one up the street), but the glow of St. Lawrence’s campus at night (the reverse view of this shot) has a delightful Central Park vibe that matches the street name well.
The beginning of August means a return to photography work in the equestrian world. Here, Dr. Piper Klemm, publisher of The Plaid Horse, warms up her horse, MTM Sandwich (a.k.a. Reuben).
The start of August marked Pony Finals 2021 (and a partial re-do of the aborted Pony Finals 2020.) Unlike recent years in the Walnut Ring, this year’s Pony Finals was held in Kentucky Horse Park’s dramatic Rolex Arena—and I was there with media credentials for The Plaid Horse.
Getting the show up and running meant moving a lot of resources, like the stack of bedding here, around the Horse Park… But the result was occasionally some unfortunate traffic jams.
Rails for jumps, likewise, were stacked up and ready to go.
The pony model classes happened relatively early on in the competition. Though spectators crowded the rails, stewards monitored them carefully to prevent any coaching of the young competitors.
Achieving victory in the model has a lot to do with conformation. Front legs should be even with one another.
When the class ended, the competitors exited beneath the massive Rolex sign.
Just outside the Arena was an area for warm up and golf-cart parking.
…Then exit the Arena in an orderly fashion when the class has ended. The pool of competitors in some divisions was so large that they were broken into multiple groups.
While some ponies were in the ring, others were in the schooling ring for trials.
With horses and ponies involved in all kinds of activities, the Horse Park had a festival atmosphere.
Small ponies look even smaller in front of big signage.
And the huge Rolex Arena looks even bigger with a small pony in it.
At the end of the day, though, this is ultimately about what pony and rider can do together in the ring.
Fences on fences on fences.
The list of what pony is in what class… While this board might be small at some shows, here most divisions number in the dozens.
A bird’s eye view of the warm-up ring.
So many ponies are on the grounds that tents are used to supplement stall space.
Bath time outside the tent. Drying off the pony after washing is important to prevent overheating on humid summer days.
Back at the cottage, the trailer rests before another day as “pony taxi service”.
Though “one day, one photograph” is my typical style, the images from my springtime trip to the Kentucky Horse Park (mostly taken while hanging around at the warm-up ring) make a charming slice-of-life set.
The warm-up is also a place for horses to shake out some energy and get any necessary attitude adjustment.
Dapples mean a healthy horse.
That preparation time made for positive results in the ring. Trainer Emily Elek congratulations Reuben.
It’s bath time for a sweaty horse done with showing.
Compress-air-powered airbag vests are increasingly common on younger riders.
Early in the morning, the golf carts waited in lines outside the barns—mimicking the positions of nearby horses in their stalls in the barns.
Cell phone videos of warm-up make an exceptionally valuable tool for improvement.
Reuben very occasionally sticks out his tongue and I find it funnier than I should.
A close overlap between conversation-walk and warm-up-canter in the warm-up ring.
Piper on Reuben.
The pattern of planting boxes reminded me of the pacing of strides riders seek to find approaching a jump.
Junior rider Lexi Miller relaxes between rounds.
As a child, I was deeply interested in the idea of islands—these isolated, well-defined chunks of land that were separated from everyone else. My favorite LEGO sets were those modeling pirates marooned on desert islands. I wonder what my childhood self would have thought of living in a town with an uninhabited island at its center?
Tennessee posts have previously been the domain of my Decaseconds co-author, but a recent visit to see him in Johnson City meant that I was able to photograph some of his regular haunts for myself. Our hike to Laurel Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains revealed some pretty spectacular natural settings.
Perhaps it’s a childhood spent on the trails around Mohonk Mountain House, but whatever the reason, I’m a huge fan of stairs along trails. This drone’s-eye view of Heritage Park’s trail in Canton shares some similar trail architecture.
This uninhabited island sits at the center of Canton, New York. While it’s currently a park, the ruins on the island indicate its past as the site of water-powered mills that processed the products of the surrounding farmland. I’m still discovering more of its history, but I’m fascinated by the process that could lead an entire section of a town to be abandoned.
At Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Eventing, the dressage portion of the competition takes place in this tightly constrained box that, rendered against the footing of Rolex Stadium, looks like some surrealist dreamscape.
This image is my submission to the Spring Photo Contest being run by Grasse River Heritage; the river and its associated park are its subject. I delight in being asked to work under requirements—in this case, both a subject and a time of year—because I feel it focuses me. I get to achieve something specific, which adds some delightful pressure to flying my quadcopter around the island.