Frog and Field go to the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting: Friday
Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby: I got it
The Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby. It’s not often I am lost for words but this weekend has been so incredible I’m not even sure where to begin. Firstly, I guess I should mention how many times I wouldn’t get accredited for the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby. As you know I’m rather driven and so the event got added to my dream event list. Also known as the ‘yeah right’ list. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d get it…..
For those that don’t know in order to take and sell images at most events you have to be accredited. Bear in mind even if you are accredited you can’t sell to competitors. That is reserved for the company who won the tender, in this case Spidge. By selling I mean to sponsors of publications. If you aren’t accredited, you shouldn’t be selling.
So anyways an email popped up in my inbox, congratulations here are your tickets to the Derby. I was a little confused, I hadn’t purchased any tickets? I hesitantly opened it as my husband has made me paranoid about spam! Then I did a little happy dance around the kitchen-woo hoo I had got accreditation. YAY- that was very much a high light of my career so far. Finally, I am starting to feel like a feel life photographer. Amaze balls.
Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby: Now what?
Panic set in shortly, what would I wear, how would I know where to go? Luckily for me Julian Portch led the way and got me ring safe. This is a blog post in itself and will be coming up soon but for now let’s talk about the Derby.
Friday I arrived late morning, there was a fair que to get in but no matter. Very much like Royal International there is a lot occurring. The international arena was in full flow, there was showing around the back and the Derby Trials were the highlight of the day. I had a briefing from Julian and then got settled for the biggest class of the day. The Derby Trials, unknown to me this was the qualifier for the Derby. So about 60 horses do the trials and the top 35 go forward to Sunday’s Derby. I picked my spot and decided to go where there was no ther photographers, I had no one to please other than myself so why get the same as everyone else?
The first rider went out and promptly fell off. There was a lack of clear rounds, a lot of refusals and more than one fall. I said to the other photographers is this normal? Their response ‘well it is the second hardest show jumping track!’
Fair point, it proved very challenging but fair play to the organisers there were no gaps and it all ran very smoothly. My favourite jump was the water jump and I had a prime spot. I couldn’t get many other jumps but I didn’t care. I’ve always wanted to get one of the water jump and I did. Career high light for me.
Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby: Horseboxes and Champagne
After that the excitement all got a bit much for me, I edited the pictures, uploaded them to twitter. The I retreated to the Champagne bar to meet some friends where I ended up staying. In my defence it was actually quite a good picture spot and I refuse to be penned in all the time. Bubbles flowing it was quickly over and we settled down for a night in the horse box. For those of you that know me I struggle with staying in strange places and I am notoriously fussy about beds. Needless to say I got some funny looks as me and my pillow traipsed across the show ground. Horse box located it was a night of wine and the Crystal Maze before the rest of the weekend.