One of the highlights of any sports pony enthusiasts year is the FEI Pony European Championships and they are always the first event entered into my diary as they are always a mad rush of photography, reporting, supporting and socialising and with ponies competing in eventing, jumping and dressage there’s always something going on!
This year they’re in the UK, which is fab as I haven’t had to worry about getting all my kit packed and within airline weight limits! The car boot is rather full though…
So far, I’ve arrived at the hotel, gone and done a recce of the venue – and also investigated the gin menu at the hotel.
Tomorrow, it’s an early start – well relatively early – compared to going out for sunrise when I’m in landscape photographer mode I’m leaving the hotel over 3 hours later! The early start being to get to the site for one of the tensest parts of the event – the measuring and vets inspection where they make sure that all the ponies are indeed ponies (well sort of ponies – they can measure 3cm over the standard pony height limit on the day!) and are fit to compete. Sounds like it should be easy – but past events have seen half of the German dressage team asked to represent the following day – so all will be looking for smiles and nods from the judges and waiting for the magic word “Accepted” from the commentator. Hopefully all will sail through – some will have travelled for days to get here and to have to return without competing is very hard. So my fingers will be firmly crossed for all – an interesting challenge when also taking photos!