SUBMITTED BY R-BAC PHOTOGRAPHY
The Telus Battle of the Breeds is 10 teams of various horse breeds, competing in 5 different events (Compulsory Skills, Jeopardy Jumping, Precision Driving, Barrel Racing and Trail Riding). All this takes place over 3 days during the Masters Tournament at Spruce Meadows in September. Its been called a “friendly fight for bragging rights”, but the competitors know it’s a lot more than that.
Being a photographer shooting horse shows for years, I’ve come to know some of the competitors who have been fortunate enough to attend the Battle in the past. The more time I spent with these people, the more I realized I wanted to be a part of the challenge.
Originally, I asked team Appaloosa if I could follow their riders through the summer practice and show season, and on to the Battle itself for 2012. Interest in the project grew and soon I was doing the same for Team Saddlebred and Team Canadian. Along the way, the idea of a blog came up. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a photographer, not a blogger but, I felt that this was a journey worth following so I decided to give it a try.
Over the next few weeks, I hope you’ll follow the blogs as I tag along with these riders through the practices, shows and everyday challenges of being able earn the right to ride at the “Battle”.
Every team needs a coach, but sometimes it can be a little hard hearing what he has to say.
Trail training- in this case, a floating rubber platform in a huge tray of water (Imminent peril and certain death in your horse’s opinion).
Week One – The Trials and Tribulations of Getting There”
Number 821 on a husband’s list of duties… Ballast while your wife practices her driving. (they call it being a “groom” but really it’s just ballast that does what it’s told. I know, I tried it too).
A 4-hour drive to train with the team captain at his place, and it starts to rain as soon as you tack-up. That coach from 4 pictures ago? He’s got no sympathy…
Competitor, secretary and Mom-not necessarily in that order …
and often all at once.
Not all the training has to be outside in the rain. And although he’s a “dual citizen” Techy is officially on the Saddlebred team.
The fringe benefits of training in your own backyard.