Blog

Natural models
05th January 2013
Now that mum has received her surprise Christmas presents, I can reveal the images from the Ash family shoot. Some children are just natural models!

You can view more in my gallery under Family Portraits.

Happy Holidays!
23rd December 2012


The office will reopen on the 7th January 2013.
What an end to an absolutely amazing year for dressage
20th December 2012
Last year was my first time photographing at Olympia, the London International Horse Show, and it was so exciting to have a British winner of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Qualifier in Laura Bechtolsheimer.

The next day, I sat next to Charlotte Dujardin at the British Equestrian Writers' Association Annual Lunch & Awards. Charlotte was incredulous that she'd won the grand prix and finished second in the World Cup qualifier on her debut at the show, in her first year competing at grand prix level and second grand prix freestyle ever.

One year on, Charlotte has not only won TWO Olympic gold medals - the first time in the history of the sport that Brits have won any kind of Olympic dressage medal - but she also won this year's grand prix at Olympia with a new world record score of more than 84% and then went on to win the World Cup qualifier.

How on earth do you follow a year like that?

You can view my pictures from Olympia here.

BD voted Mag of the Year!
05th December 2012
British Dressage magazine has just been voted the 'Independent Publisher's Consumer Magazine of the Year' by the Professional Publishers Association! Now that's what I call a nice Christmas present...

Click here for more info.
British Dressage magazine issue 8 out now...
01st December 2012
...featuring the lovely double Paralympic gold medallist Natasha Baker at home as well as a training article with Daniel Timson about riding corners, how to use them not just to set up for movements and improve your test marks, but to help your horse in his development.

I also interview feed experts about the importance of feeding fibre and eminent vet Tim Brazil, a world renowned expert in this field, explains why stomach ulcers are so common in dressage horses these days.

Click on the links below to read the articles:
Natasha Baker interview
Riding corners with Daniel Timson
Full marks
29th November 2012
Two of my images have been awarded 10 out of 10 in round two of my local photographic club league competition last night. There was certainly strong competition, including several Royal Photographic Society members. My humble little windswept New Forest pony won the monochrome category while my portrait of Josie and Henry stood out for the judge as it showed their close bond in the PDI (projected digital image) category. The judge also commented on Henry's lovely eyelashes!



Autumn colours
12th November 2012
Josie picked the perfect day for her shoot to capture this year's stunning autumn colours. We found a lovely gateway, which made the perfect setting. And Henry was the perfect model - a lovely genuine type, just like his owner!



There's something about these hands...
08th November 2012
I cropped into an image I captured during a recent editorial shoot because I just love these hands because there is so much tenderness. They belong to someone quite famous in the dressage world - all will be revealed in time! Perhaps I should run a competition for people to guess who they belong to...

The beautiful New Forest ponies
07th November 2012
I happened to be down in the New Forest yesterday and just had to take some time out to capture these characterful ponies. Here is one of them...

British Dressage Magazine issue 7 out now
27th October 2012
Apart from featuring some of my images from the Paralympics and National Dressage Championships, issue 7 of British Dressage Magazine contains an article of mine entitled "Producing para power". It's all about the qualities a para-equestrian rider looks for in a competition horse, with input from some of Britain's top para riders and trainers.

One thing everyone touched on was how quickly horses adapt to para riders and learning new aids.

In Natasha Baker's words: "They have a sixth sense and look after us para riders."

To read the article, click here.
The lovely Millie
26th October 2012
I had the pleasure of meeting Liz and Ian with their characterful hound Millie after they won a photo shoot with me at a recent fundraiser staged by The Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust.

The charity was set up 10 years ago by a neighbour, Heather Armstrong, and her late sister. Having read the charity's latest newsletter after doing photo shoots at three top dressage yards in the Cotswolds (one of which has just been sold for £14.5m!) makes you think how lucky most of the horses in this country are.

To find out more about Heather's work in The Gambia, please visit
www.gambiahorseanddonkey.org.uk.



It's a miracle
15th October 2012
My hound Shrek has made to his fourth birthday! I know that doesn't sound like much, but with our record this is a HUGE achievement. Put it this way, I'm amazed I haven't bankrupted PetPlan yet! Here's a pic of him trying to look intelligent. He has finally learnt that chasing something through brambles is not a good idea. Hoping he will live to a ripe old age ...

With a little help...
09th October 2012
...from my hound. I was trying to take a new self-portrait for my About page. We did get there though, eventually!



Baby boom
03rd October 2012
It was such fun doing a shoot with these three sisters and their babies - I know they say you shouldn't work with animals or children, but I so love both, especially all the wonderful expressions!





Toddling in the New Forest
26th September 2012
I had the most wonderful day for a shoot in the New Forest last week. What a dream location, beautiful light and the sweetest little girl.



Tack Special out now!
18th September 2012
Issue 6 of British Dressage Magazine should have arrived on your doorsteps by now if you are a BD member and this issue features my Tack Special; a wonderful opportunity to produce for some creative images. Thank you to all of you who let me photograph your tack at Dressage at Hickstead a couple of months ago!

There are another three features by me in issue 6, including a fascinating article about horses and back pain. I had the pleasure of interviewing Animal Health Trust's adviser Dr Rachel Murray as well as Vicky Spalding and Sue Palmer.

I also interviewed the man in charge of dressage at the FEI, the international equestrian federation, to find out what his job entails and how the sport is changing.

My final feature is entitled "Hitting the right note" and is full of tips from the man of the moment Tom Hunt, who composes music for Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester as well as BD chairman Jennie Loriston-Clarke.



Carl is in Uthopia!
17th September 2012
The stands were packed yesterday to see Olympic gold medallist Carl Hester and Uthopia in action and become the 2012 National Champions. Judging by his lap of honour, I think it is safe to say Carl was pleased with himself!

To view my images from the championships, please click here.

Paralympics London 2012
05th September 2012
London 2012 was my first Paralympic Games as an accredited journalist and reporter and what a special one it was. There's never been a Paralympics like it with an audience of more than 10,000, the most wonderful athletes, who just blew me away with their incredible stories, not to mention welcoming and helpful volunteers.

My lasting memories will be something British Dressage Marketing Manager Winnie Murphy told me about while she was working for LOCOG bringing riders from the holding area to be interviewed by the press in the mixed zone.

She said there was one rider who on completing her test came back to meet her team and just said "right shoulder, left hip". They manhandled her off the horse somehow and one of her team wacked her on the shoulder while another got hold of her leg. Winnie said her support team treated her dislocated joints as if they were an every day occurrence.

Then there was the "butterfly waving", which is when the audience was asked not to clap until horse and rider had been reunited after their test so the horses didn't take fright. Instead, the audience waved flags and hands to show their appreciation and the ripple of noise, was so poignant and moving, surprisingly far more so than the loudest clapping and cheering could ever be.

To see my images from the event, please click here

It's arrived!
24th August 2012
My Paralympic press card - only five more days to go - so looking forward to it!

Go Team GB go!
04th August 2012
What an amazing experience the Olympic dressage was yesterday. The crowd went mad with excitement after Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro's spectacular test, which put her in the lead after the grand prix. She set a new Olympic record with a score of 83.663%.




Check out my gallery for all the photos from my visit to the second day of the Olympics.