Blog

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.
Becky's shoot
20th July 2012
It was simply the most perfect day for photography and with the loveliest people.


Olympic Torch Relay comes to Surrey
20th July 2012
Just had to go and watch the Torch Relay in the quintessential English village of Shere. More pix on my gallery...


Mud, mud, glorious mud
17th July 2012
The Hickstead team pulled out all the stops so the show could go on despite the wettest summer on record. Thank you to all who so kindly let me photograph their tack for British Dressage magazine's tack special. And to the kind gentleman who washed my wheels as I left.

Mud, mud, glorious mud
17th July 2012
The Hickstead team pulled out all the stops so the show could go on despite the wettest summer on record. Thank you to all who so kindly let me photograph their tack for British Dressage magazine's tack special. And to the kind gentleman who washed my wheels as I left.
ParalympicsGB team launch
14th July 2012
It's all happening now! The ParalympicsGB teams have their kit and the British press had a chance to meet all the athletes and find out the stories behind their selection.



British Dressage magazine issue 5 out now
10th July 2012
Just received the latest issue of British Dressage, including my five-page Olympic preview, five-page training article and three-page "Flying the flag" product feature (thought I'd been busy!). A big thank you to Sarah Millis for modelling and all her team for helping with the photo shoot for the aforementioned article.

View the Flying the flag products feature here.
Despite the "lovely" British summer...
09th July 2012
...the Chiddingfold Farmers Pony Club Area 13 Show Jumping went ahead. In fact, we only had a couple of showers all day and the ground held up incredibly well considering.

Thank you for inviting me, making me so welcome and hats off to all the volunteers who made it happen.

You can view the pics on my gallery page.
Something different
07th July 2012
I've been asked to take pictures by the Chiddingfold Farmers Pony Club branch at their Area 13 show jumping rally tomorrow. So looking forward to covering the minis in arena 3 - 95 entrants, so a lot more competitive than the dressage I am used to covering.

I won't mention how many years it's been since I was a member...
British Para Champs
21st June 2012
What a great day; the sun shone down on us at Hickstead (I managed to get one sunburnt arm and back of one leg!), the standard of riding was exceptional and there were so many gorgeous horses.

It is always a pleasure to talk to anyone involved in para-equestrian dressage and great to be taking photos for the first time at this event.

I feel guilty to say that I'm still tired from my day's shooting on Tuesday followed by four hours of picture editing yesterday. How pathetic is that when you consider that Anne Dunham, who is in her 60s and has had MS for half her life, competed TWO horses in one day.

I'm so looking forward to the Paralympics and have my fingers crossed that my press accreditation goes through. Hope to speak to all the riders selected for the Games at the team kitting out press call...

Click here to view the pictures from the championships.
Dorking Advertiser Jubilee front cover
07th June 2012
Thanks to the Ockley Society, the Ockley Jubilee Party was a day to remember, particularly for me as the Dorking Advertiser used one of my images for their Jubilee pull-out front cover. Thank you Alex Morrison and for your kind words about my photos!

DA front cover
Our Blue Tit family
03rd June 2012
I have had the most amazing opportunity to capture a blue tit family as my eldest son Jamie built a bird box last year and we had never got round to putting it up anywhere. Now we have a family of blue tits nesting on the floor outside our backdoor.

I spent several hours lying on a sun lounger about 6ft away from them and every time the chicks started getting noisy, I knew one of the parents was nearby, so it was time to concentrate.I had to put the camera's shutter speed up to full whack and then struggled to capture these incredibly fast little birds.

The Eilberg Family
24th May 2012
Issue 4 of British Dressage magazine is out, featuring my article and photos of my visit to the Eilberg's home, Pink Green Farm. What a lovely, warm and unpretentious family; they have certainly earned their success. You can view the photos on my gallery.
Dressage Deluxe to use Damian Hallam image
27th April 2012
Dressage Deluxe have just bought one of the photos from the Damian Hallam shoot to use in their advertising and PR campaign. Have a feeling Damian is going to be in even bigger demand!

Damian Hallam's training article is a hit
27th April 2012
A big thank you to all you British Dressage forumites who have written about how much you love the feature "Forward Thinking" I did with Damian Hallam. One member said it was the best training article she had ever read. What made this forum thread so special to me was the fact that one member wrote that Damian's training tips were working and that her horse was so much happier.

It makes all the hard work involved in producing such an article so worthwhile...
What a feat
22nd April 2012
I'm incredibly lucky to have this as my view from our home.

Peter James, who has spent many years working on this project restoring the mill with great attention to detail and it's history, kindly gave me a guided tour yesterday as I was picking up tickets for his talk, which he gave in the village hall that evening (another due in May).

It was the most amazing experience - the last time I stood in the windmill, there was just the remnants of the brick wall base. This time, Peter showed me all his incredible work and I climbed right up to the top - the last bit by ladder. Once there, Peter enjoyed telling me that below the wood I was standing on, there was nothing for 44ft, at which point my face, I suspect, drained of all colour as I realised I was standing on the bit protruding at the back!

The sheer hard graft that has gone into this restoration has to be seen to be believed. Peter works full-time as an engineer and has been the architect on this project to turn this into his home. If only there was a Britain's Got Talent to recognise this kind of achievement.

BPA endorses my Paralympic accreditation
17th April 2012
I've just heard that my request for Paralympic press accreditation has been endorsed by the British Paralympic Association. Spent the morning filling out forms with passport numbers, supplying mug shots, etc. It would be a first for me - fingers crossed it all goes through.
Damian Hallam's masterclass in BD issue 4
11th April 2012
It was a pleasure to work with NLP practitioner Damian Hallam on my latest Masterclass feature for British Dressage magazine. I love the way he relates car gear changes to describe judging speed control within the paces. Click here to read the article.