I traditionally start my eventing season at Oasby Horse Trials, near Ancaster in Lincolnshire, where the four-day competition runs sections from BE90 level up to Intermediate.
The intermediate competition includes open sections which have become a recognised warm up for horses planning to compete at Badminton in May, followed usually by a three (now four) star at Burnham Market or Belton International horse trials.
Oasby is a sentimental event for me. When I first started to photograph eventing in 2007-8 it was one of the first events I was asked to cover for a magazine. As a result of the images I created there I was approached by Matt and Sarah Baldock of E. S. Photography, who asked me to work for them at other events, a relationship which continued for nearly ten years before that company merged with 1st Class Images. Shortly after I started to work for them regularly, the contract to provide the event photography for all the Bede events, of which Oasby is one, came up for tender, and the team were awarded the contract.
Sadly 2019 marks the first year since then that I have not been there working as the event photographer. Bede have awarded the contract to a new supplier and this year I went with press accreditation instead. In addition to a couple of commercial clients who wanted images of their sponsored riders, I also wanted to give my own supported riders some new competition images so they could update their social media and websites for the new season.
Each of the riders I needed to photograph had multiple horses. Inevitably, this meant lots of running around between dressage, showjumping and cross country, and the odd clash, but it was worth it. By the end of Saturday I had been able to send significant numbers of images to the riders and they were delighted.
You can see more of my images from Oasby at any time but be aware that accreditation rules mean that for the time being they are only available with rights managed licences, for editorial or commercial use.