It’s weird how eventing has become my favorite type of competition to shoot for work—even the lower levels, where there is no chance of being starstruck by Olympians, have grown on me. My most recent work outing placed me at a local, well-respected, recognized horse trials for cross-country day. Although the temperature was approaching 90° with a heavy dose of humidity, none of the horses seemed fazed. I, however, was much more insulted by the heat.
We arrived just in time for the break before the Preliminary divisions started, which gave us the chance to trudge to the middle of the course without the risk of being in a rider’s way. Accompanied by my co-worker and another horsey friend, I stationed near the water jump mostly for the decent handful of jumps the complex offered.
Over the course of our time there, we saw a few victims of the tough complex and the day’s heat. There was a rider tumble or two, and a few horse’s stumbling on their way out of the water, but most were quiet refusals that riders chose to retire with.
One thing I love about lower level eventing is the variety of the competitors. You can tell which horses and riders could do this in their sleep and which seasoned partner is guiding their novice teammate.
Although we weren’t as exhausted as some of the rider’s probably were, our little group was definitely ready to go home after the long day in New England’s first high humidity heat wave. We saw some good runs, we saw a tough fall, but most importantly, we got some great photos.