It's always a tense time before the hay is in largely due to trying to predict the weather and then having to motivate people to treat your fields with priority and get them completed in the weather window you've selected. We went for ours in the last few days of July having put off a week earlier only for it to be hot all week.
|Grace inspects the Hay Crop|
It was still raining Saturday morning when I arrived at Gatcombe for a weekend of the Festival of British Eventing. Land Rover advanced parking and hospitality was much appreciated and a hot coffee and bacon roll (in the rain) set me up for the rest of the day. I'd recently uploaded the YouTube Capture App and the 3G was good enough on site for me to be able to to use the iPhone to record some short pieces of video and upload them immediately.
Videoing in the rain is not easy and I'd learnt to my cost at Chepstow that the camera does not like the rain; not surprising really! Anyway I wanted a few wet shots for my "Waterfront" video so I risked a couple around the lake under the cover of the trees and then left the camera under my protective NAF carrier bag and waited for the sun to come out. I was really lucky to capture the really atmospheric shot of the mist rising from the wet ground as the sun started to warm it through and Sophie Jenman replaced a broken leather of Geronimo. I used the shot in the opening sequence of my Eventing Cinema entry.
Saturday was mainly about the EQUEX China Advanced Section although I did take the long walk to capture some dressage action from the Open and Intermediate Sections. Fortunately, as it transpired, I was there to see Andrew Nicholson and Avebury and at the other end of the spectrum Vittoria Panizzon having a pig of a ride on Hoos Harry. Whoever Harry is he didn't appear to appreciate dressage but Vittoria's drop of the shoulders was priceless and once again I was able to use it in the Eventing Cinema entry.
Sunday saw an early start to make sure I was in place for Molakai and Charlie Pickman who I wanted to video for a good friend. This time it was the Land Rover hospitality in the main arena that provided the coffee and I was pleased to catch not only Kai but also Ruth Edge and the Winter King.
I then made the better part of two circuits of the course to video the Intermediate and Open Championships. As well as the jumping and the course I was pleased to get some nice shots of William Fox-Pitt walking off Luxury FH at the end of of his round. I diverted back to the main arena to get some shots of the Open Showjumping and then back out to the Park Bowl to video the last couple of fence in the Intermediate Competition.
In the afternoon I concentrated on the fences in the Equibuild field and then around the water in the Park Bowl. As if to make up for Hoos Harry I got a splendid shot of Borough Pennyz and Vittoria Panizzon jumping straight at me over the double of houses at 10 b and c. Oh we put so much faith in that bit of string!
|Both already sighted on the next fence VP and BP jump 10c|
By positioning myself on the far side of the Park Bowl I was able to video the horses and riders on the fences in the run up to the water and through the water itself. Andrew Nicholson and Averbury looked class as usual, Opposition Buzz was majestic (and inside the time) while Louise Harwood and Whitson looked a little out of control!
It was then back to the main arena for a burger and a coke and then the prize giving. It was great being invited into the arena to watch the prize giving just a bit of a pain that the pros get to stand in front. I did get some nice shots of Luxury FH and Avebury as they were presented to the crowd and a really pleasing shot of Avebury as he was walked back to the lorry park after the prize giving.
|Open Champion Avebury and Support Team|
All in all an exhausting two days of Eventing but I do think the quality of the video and the positive feedback I've had on the Eventing Cinema entry made it all worth while.
|View across the Park Bowl|
Part two on the rush to get the entry completed, my Hartpury accreditation and my new Manfrotto tripod to follow.
|Programmes! (nice BE coat)|