After posts devoted to my photography on the days leading up to Pony Finals 2022, we’ve finally arrived at the main event.
Days start early and run long; this pair is already heading back from the ring in spite of the morning light behind them.
Nearby, this trainer waits to lunge a pony.
And this young rider hurries to groom.
This was my first summer working with Sony’s 70-200 mm f/2.8 lens; the narrow depth of field (with its buttery bokeh) in combination with the eye-detecting autofocus has taken all of the luck out of capturing shots like this one.
Speaking of luck, the passengers on this overloaded golf cart might be pushing theirs.
Some pictures seem like they’re emitting sound. This is one of those.
Warm-ups in the Rolex Ring were a high-traffic affair.
In spite of the traffic, moments emerge in which a single rider is isolated.
I love those moments in which horse and rider seem to share the same expression.
Though there are no events in which adults compete during Pony Finals, this wouldn’t be a Kentucky photoset without Piper and Reuben in the mix.
Emily Elek, one of Piper’s trainers, is always exceptionally busy during Pony Finals. This picture of Emily talking on the phone is rather special for folks who know her constant refrain: “Don’t call—text!”
Now for an amusing pair of shots: two head-on pictures of smiling riders—one with a somewhat larger mount than the other.
Lastly, a shot of Will during his last Pony Finals (he just aged out of the under-18 competition) riding alongside his father in the electric golf cart. (The cart is affectionately called “blueberry.”)