What a month March was with the pure power of true winter's snow ploughing through the month with "The Beast from the East" as it was known! The weather, not just brought chaos to travel and daily chores etc, but it has also brought a mass of event cancellations too. Many equestrian events were cancelled over the month (I had three shows cancelled due to snow) showing how strong the snow weather had been. And now in April, we are going from snow to rain conditions affecting everything. We are in for quite an adventure I feel and finally there are going to be quite a few things happening over the next few weeks on my side of things also.
So, in this blog post:
Kenwick Dressage - The Closure - 31st March 2018
I will never ever forget doing the first ever Kenwick Dressage show back on 30th November 2013 and I had met the wonderful Allison and her beautiful daughter Beth and her fantastic husband Chris. After that day and meeting, it truly was the beginning of not just great event and organisers to work with, but also of great friendship for life and collaborations.
The shows were full of laughter and happiness and also for everyone who visited and participated, it was a show that really gave encouragement to all riders of all abilities and everyone helped each other. It was a truly positive world in the atmosphere that they (Allison and Beth and their team) had created and energised come rain or shine.
And then after 5 years of came this year's Easter Show, which is to be (sadly) their last. The day was sweet and magical, even though the air and feelings was of sadness which was felt through every image I took, knowing that they were to be the last of this beautiful group's show. Every time I clicked the shutter, I kept on having flashbacks of the past 5 years of Kenwick Dressage. The times I got cold, the times I got dancing, and the one time when I got asked to do a very special job... To help judge dressage! I'm very well known for my photography judging and I have judged a fancy dress before, but I have never ever judged a dressage! I was stirring in my mind thinking what do they look at, what do they comment on, what do they knock points off on and what do they reward points on?????!!! It was a whole new ball game! Luckilly for me, I was in great company with showing expert David Dunham, fantastic riding expert Sarah Charnley and also another outstanding rider and teacher of dressage and riding legend Alice Elliott. It was a remarkable experience and my advice was going on what I look for in a photograph from structure and position to muscle positions of horse's stride etc. When I photographed the very last shot of not just the day, but of the whole show, I felt like breaking down for everyone knowing the door had closed on an era. The impact that the shows have done for the local people is certainly ones that will be remembered throughout the lifetime of everyone. The boost of confidence, the ability to build confidence safely.
I cannot personally stress out that we need to keep on supporting our local shows, not just for somewere to go locally, but they are also vital building blocks for the riders / participants to advance onto higher levels and in Lincolnshire, we have a lot of very high level riders that are inspiring many of the locals and gives everyone a chance to build up their experience from their guidance and experience also. And also the shows provide a fantastic world to relax and let off some steam too as well as to collect tickets / points to enter the bigger national competitions also without having to travel far afield and on a lot higher cost which is sadly been going up for a while. I can also share the organiser's of the great shows time and preparation efforts which is the same in the photography world too where it can often lead to sleepless nights and long pre-show preparing to make sure everything runs ok. I certainly hope we keep on trying to support what shows we have around us for the respect of their time and effort they put in to run the show for the people, even if it is just once a year. That is my view on it anyway.
Like Beth had said, as one door closes, another opens... So we will definitely see the fantastic Mum & Daughter duo and the team again in the future very soon at other events! I want to wish them all the best with their next chapters and adventures and for their love and support of my work, I shall always support the both of them with everything.
Finally, there will always be a Kenwick Dressage Page on my website. As you know, every event group will have a web page of event images and Kenwick Dressage has one which can be found in the drop down list of Equestrian Events. To celebrate the show's success over the years, my special offer of 25% off orders of £27.00 or more before Post and Packaging is on until the 5th May 2018 with the code: KENWICK25 on the checkout page and not just that, it applies to ALL KENWICK DRESSAGE EVENTS currently on the website.
Interesting changes and Integrations
As some of you may have seen recently on the official facebook page, the page name has slightly changed... It now includes events beyond the equine world.
The events includes Black tie type balls, celebrations, special events, other sport events etc. Most recently however, I have been working on a special project of which until now has been kept close to my other works away from equestrian and other events and due to the project it has started to encroach into my events world of photography and so it was one of the reasons to change the page name slightly to reflect this. The project is called Batqua Man. The project is following a man who has various special needs requirements and has unusual health complications that he has been battling with over his life and only over a year ago had decided to swim in serious competitions and at last year's special olympics, has overcome the difficulties he faces and has won gold medals for his swimming in the special olympics. The swimmer, Ben, describes himself as his big idol Batman for the feeling of having no weaknesses. I have known Ben and his family for a very long time and you may well recognise them from the equestrian world. You will soon see some posts about this project which is very special to myself too for which I also share some of his conditions also. Ben to me is a real true Batman character fro what he has been and still is fighting against.
Important notices of what is coming
In May, there is a lot happening over the month and also June / July. But this section is about May first. Will explain more about June and July around Mid - End of May post.
So with May, I shall be working away a lot and be very up and down the country at times (literally)! and so there will be times where I won't be reachable or may take a while to respond. However, the online shop and orders are not affected at all by the dates in question, even certain collages as they can be designed by the viewer on the website. Only specialist requirements are not processed or sorted until my return. So here are the dates and information to know when special requests are on hold:
27th April - Any special requirements of certain styles of collages etc must be in by no later than 3pm please.
29th April - Scunthorpe Pony Club's Spring Hunter trial - The last event before travelling away.
1st > 15th May - Period where I may struggle to keep in touch if you need to reach me. If I can reach and get in touch ok, will post an update on my Facebook page and here too.
16th May - Away at a special equestrian event.
17th May - Resumes any special requests from 12pm.
20th May - Welsh horse show at Sheepgate - First official show from returning back from travelling.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and will post again on my facebook page nearer the end of the month.