Adrenaline Rush

March 02, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Although the first weekend of this month consisted of a long, but calm weekend's dressage, my second weekend was in stark contrast to the idea of relaxations and steadiness. I was one of the team of photographers who had been contacted to help cover the Golden Button Challenge, a challenge more than a race, covering just under 3 miles of old turf over 25 fences, consisting of rails, hedges, and ditches (Some ditches with meaty hedges behind them!). The going up until the Friday before the event had been perfect, but heavy rainfall overnight had riders feeling worried. 
As game day dawned, riders loaded their horses into trailers and boxes, not knowing what the day would bring, only in the knowledge that the event that lay before them would be hugely taxing on both horse and jockey, all preparations had been made, the only thing to do was ride and ride well.
I was positioned nearer the finish at fence 21, a large hedge (but certainly not the largest on course) with plenty of space to get at, it was however, entering the more twisty part of the course, with riders having to snake back on themselves after tackling fence 20, the previous hedge. Horses would be tiring at this point so their jockeys would have to be riding even more precisely to nurse their tired steeds over the final few jumping efforts before home, all while dodging empty saddles and battling fatigue themselves. 
Crowds gathered as the start time neared, large clumps of people claiming the best viewing spots as we saw a large field of 40+ riders and their keen mounts being guided to the start by a member of hunt staff dressed in scarlet, it was a picture to behold as coats glistened, eyes sparkled, and riders donned brave faces for the challenge that lay ahead of them. 
As I heard the commentary voiced in the distance that the horses were off and galloping, I waited in tension for horses to appear; it felt like an eternity, but when riders appeared, my shooting window felt like it passed in the blink of an eye. 
The first riders to pass me were Yvonne Goss (This years winner) and Rowan Peters (2nd place), battling it out for 1st place, and they rode with both ferocity and finesse, the rest of the field then dripped through in clumps, tackling my allocated fence in a mish-mash of styles, some battered through the top of the hedge at a gallop, others jumped neatly as if on a cross country course, this ride had attracted a wide range of riders, from jockeys, to hunting enthusiasts, to team chasers, and eventers. If you wanted an adrenaline buzz, this was the place to be!
So, without further delay, I will give you what you've all been waiting for: Photos! 


The field of brave riders making their way to the start behind scarlet coats Yvonne Goss and Rowan Peters battling for first place This rider took a moment to cuddle their horse for all his hard work! A selection of styles over this hedge A selection of styles over this hedge A selection of styles over this hedge A selection of styles over this hedge A selection of styles over this hedge Samantha Clarke praising her horse, Lucky, after tackling fence 21

Stay creative,

Emma :)


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