Some of you may well have seen I was lucky enough to go with my sponsored rider, Becky and her wonderful chestnut mare Luna to Badminton Horse Trials last week for their Grassroots competition. Competing there is something many people dream of, and I was so excited to watch the girls there.
I headed down on Monday lunch time and met Becky and her mum and dad at Badminton. Funnily enough I'd timed it really well and arrived literally 2 minutes after them. We got Luna settled in ahead of her dressage on Tuesday afternoon, with her jumping and cross country to follow on Wednesday.
My aim whilst being there was to capture something a little different for Becky. I really wanted to capture the emotions of behind the scenes, paying particular attention to the details of the event. So many emotions are at play during big events like this, and in the blur of excitement and nerves it is often the details that are forgotten.
Becky actually qualified a couple years ago, but due to COVID the championships that year was postponed, so it was nice to finally get the chance to compete at this amazing event.
Becky was due for dressage at 4:30pm on the Tuesday (a long and slightly agonising wait), and after us walking her cross country course twice before lunch (my legs were very tired!), it was finally time to start tacking up and getting ready.
Luna did a lovely test, a slight spook going down the centre line left her lying 5th overnight less than 4 penalties off the leader. There was actually only 15 or so penalties separating first & last, it was really tight. Tuesday night was also host to an exclusive drinks party at the Badminton Media centre, which Becky very kindly took me along to. Prosecco & canapes were consumed and it was nice to chat to some of the other competitors, too.
Wednesday... The exciting part!
The showjumping course was fairly inviting bar the undulating ground in the arena, it caused a lot of poles & issues in the BE100 class. The BE90 course walk quickly came around and Luna was a little fresh in the jumping warm up, she was certainly feeling the occasion. Again, a lovely round from her but a slight rub behind over the Voltaire oxer saw her have a very costly pole and drop down 34th place.
I must add here that there were about 113+ competitors in the BE90 class, and with it all to play for on the cross country I was certain the standings would be very different come the end of the day.
It was soon time for the best part and quite frankly I couldn't wait to watch Becky & Luna gallop around that Badminton turf. I knew they'd have a great round. I was at the second to last fence, as it was a good spot for a galloping shot and I knew I could run across and get a photo over the last fence (I was also desperate to capture a photo of them crossing the finish line, so much emotion happens there!).
I managed to find myself stood with three lovely ladies who were jump judging the fence, they very kindly let me listen to their walkie-talkie so I could follow Becky's round as she went. It really was quite intense, but she kept going clear and before I knew it they were home and safe with no time penalties to add.
The course caused a few issues for others on the day and soon Becky was in 21st position with only 5 more riders to go (top 20 got a rosette so we were crossing fingers!). Unfortunately there were a few stops and eliminations in the last few competitors which left Becky & Luna in 19th place at the end of the competition.
To say I am proud is an understatement - getting to be a part of such an incredible event and have access to behind the scenes like I did was just amazing. Big thank you to Becky's mum, Tracey, for looking after me, making cups of coffee and endless pasta. Also to Becky's dad, Steve, for providing endless entertainment regarding the Badminton hounds (if you know, you know).
If you'd like to see more behind the scenes from this event, head over to my instagram and take a look at some of my reels!
Lunar Photography - Equine & Dog Photographer in Derbyshire
Lunar Photography - Equine & Dog photographer based in Derbyshire.
Capturing precious memories in fun & vibrant images you will love forever.