Horse Show Magic
Share this gallery
The bond between horse and rider creates magic in the air
Equestrian showjumping blends power, grace, and beauty in an Olympic-level sport.
Client / Project Cascade Horse Shows
Details My wife Jessica is a competetive show jumper. She also is a founding partner in Cascade Horse Shows, an independent horse show management company that produces the most popular hunter jumper equestrian events in Washington State. I have the great pleasure of doing photography to support her marketing and PR (as well as the company web site and IT infrastructure).
While I have shot many action pictures of horses and riders over fences, my favorite images are often of the people who make our shows special. Their faces radiate the joy and excitement of a winning round, the pleasure of camaraderie between barn-mates, or the love and affection for their equine partners.
By way of background, there are two main disciplines practiced in hunter jumper competition:
Hunter competition simulates the challenges encountered in classic open field fox hunting. The courses are designed in a more naturalistic style; when you see jumps with hay bales, flowers or shrubs, you are viewing a hunter competition. Riders wear formal “hunt coat” attire, and the horses are braided and groomed for a refined, elegant look. Modern hunter classes are judged subjectively on the horse’s quality of movement and performance over a course of fences. Horses should be well-mannered and demonstrate consistency and style over jumps. These classes are scored on a scale of 0-100, with scores in the 70s considered average.
Jumper competition, or Show Jumping, is an Olympic equestrian sport practiced worldwide. It is one of the most exciting equestrian disciplines due to the speed and power on display. Jumper classes are scored based on the time to complete the course and number of faults incurred. The course will have a set time that it must be completed within. Mistakes on the course equals faults—for example, refusing a jump or knocking over a rail equals four faults. The horse with the fastest time and least number of faults wins. Premier jumper classes may feature a “jump-off” competition, where horses and riders with clean first rounds (no jumping faults and completed within the minimum time allowed) return for a second, “speed” round. Jump-offs can be very exciting indeed!
Shooting Notes All images captured with Canon EOS digital cameras and EF lenses.