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loose horse during belvoir team chase

Event Photography for the Belvoir Team Chase at Garthorpe

Posted on 25th September 2020 in .  So far there are No comments

A well-known Doctor who worked at equestrian events all over the country, from Championships to Pony Club events, once referred to Team Chasing as "a special kind of crazy".

As a sport, it certainly attracts a unique crowd of adrenalin junkies, who travel far and wide every weekend, to get their fix.

The Belvoir's annual event is blessed. It runs at Garthorpe racecourse, once of the very best point-to-point courses in the country [I would say that, but it is] and conveniently placed in Belvoir country just East of Melton Mowbray. Course builder David Selby utilises the plethora of hedges within the course itself, weaving his track up and down the hill and across some of the most extreme undisturbed ridge and furrow pasture you will see anywhere.

It is quite a tricky course at every level, but the Intermediate, in particular, causes trouble. It is early in the season, before the Open Team points scoring events have started and, to put it bluntly, people are a bit green.

A few years ago now I was offered the role of event photographer for the team chase, when the previous company retired from the game. That first year I recruited my colleague Henry Kinchin from 1st Class Images to do the printing for me and it went well. It was clear to both of us, though, that more photographers were needed to do the event justice and, on the condition that he employed me to help every year, I handed the job over to his company from that point on.

This year we used three photographers and a remote camera to get as much coverage as we could on a weekend when 1st Class Images were also covering two other events elsewhere. The weather was kind and there were plenty of entries. I suspect people were delighted to get out competing.

You can view the full set of images on 1st Class Images' website. The ones you see here are just a few from my cameras on the day. If you want my help to cover similar events elsewhere, please get in touch.

remote camera shot of a team chaser
pair of team chasers
Fox Grant Thruster team chasing
Isobel Mceuen team chasing
remote camera shot of a team chaser on a grey horse

Tips for photographing team chasing

  1. Pick a decent sized hedge or fence.
  2. Try not to shoot into the sun unless it is a water fence.
  3. If possible position yourself so that the rider is turning towards the camera after the jump. Not always safe!
  4. Set your camera to continuous autofocus.
  5. Sit low on the ground, perhaps downhill from the hedge or fence, to make it look as big as possible.
  6. Frame your shot to include the whole fence - the rider will want to show how big it was and they can't do that if you have zoomed in on them.
  7. Lock you focus point onto the horse/rider as they take off and pan with them as you press the shutter release.
  8. Delete any pics where the horse's legs are in contact with the ground.

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About Nico

I am an equine photographer, website designer and hosting provider living in Lincolnshire.

I work with clients who are sole traders and others which are FTSE companies. They are equally important to me.

If you need commercial photography, editorial photography, event photography, lifestyle, equestrian or wedding photography, then I can help you, with over 30 years experience in these areas.

I also teach photography. I mentor photographers with a range of experience, from beginners to working professionals and run an equine photography course which gives members access to articles about the business of equestrian photography.

I have a varied set of skills, having worked for well known web design and web analytics companies in parallel to my photography.

I design, host and maintain websites for clients as varied as farms, interior designers and equestrian centres, as well as for bloggers and sportspeople, including many riders.

I am the Public Relations Officer for the Midlands Point-to-Point Association, a role which utilises my PR and social media skills to promote horse racing both online and in the National press.

If you think that I could be the right person to help you, whatever your project, then please get in touch and we can discuss what you need and the ways in which I can help.

You can find out more about me here.
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