SUBMITTED BY R-BAC PHOTOGRAPHY
I thought I’d take a few days and let everything soak in before I wrote the wrap-up to this project. The last posts were a little hurried as we tried to get daily updates out the door, so it seemed like an opportunity to take Linda Southern-Heathcott’s advice and “smell the flowers-we’ve brought in 2.2 metric tons of them for this event!”
If you’ve been to events at Spruce Meadows before, you undoubtedly will understand what kind of a buzz goes on when everything is in high-gear. For me, it was all that and much more, because, somewhat like our riders, it was the culmination of a project. We were actually at the competition, getting all the shots we’d wanted and many, many more. Our team were looking and performing great. The weather was fantastic. And, hey, it was Spruce Meadows.
I think the single biggest thing that stands out in my mind is how the entire events lives up to it’s motto “it’s all about the horse”. Growing up in the foothills, we were raised western. It wasn’t until my own girls started to ride that I was introduced to Pony Club, Dressage and Jumping. Now, being unfamiliar with everything the Spruce Meadows facility has to offer, it initially struck me as odd to see how the disciplines met and competed side-by-side. And not only the competitors, but the fans. During our Battle competitions, a quick scan of the spectators revealed a wide variety of clothing ranging from Kerrits to Resistol, Ariat to, well…Ariat. Anyway, you get the point. Even during most of the Battle competitions, the contestants had the option of English or Western, and there were always some of both. (Oh yeah, and, I got to meet-and shoot-with Bob Langrish. Go me)
But enough pining about the venue! I had promised earlier on to introduce our teams, but due to several conditions involving both Horses and Riders, the final line-up of our 3 teams was undecided right up until the first day of the event. So, although it’s a little backwards, here are our Riders and their Horses:
Placing 9th overall was Team Canadian, captained by Patty Carley of Red Deer, AB.
In 6th place was Team Saddlebred, with Mr. Adrian Neufeld at the helm.
And taking home first place for the 7th time is Team Appaloosa, led by Brian Mclachlin.
So, with the help of a very talented young photographer named Eric Smith, as well as my old Army friend and fellow shooter Craig Gauvreau, I now have a task of sorting through some 7500 images from our few months project with these 3 awesome teams. I hope I can do them the justice that they all deserve-well done everyone!
I’ll close this up with 2 final shots. One that sort of reflects on wrapping-up: