Chicken Chase Endurance Ride in Clark State Forest in Indiana
Beautiful Trails, Great People
Every year in the spring one of the first Endurance rides that Patty goes to is the Chicken Chase Pioneer I,II,III ride. The ride is near Henryville, Indiana and is managed by Amy Whelan. The host for the event is Bill Wilson whose farm is used for the vet checks, for camping and for everything else that goes on. Almost always there are trees in bloom and the trails are wonderful.
April 16, 17, and 18th 2010 Chicken Chase Endurance Ride
This year my wife and daughter plan to participate in all three days of the event. As a rider you can choose whatever you want to participate in, one day, two days, or all three days, this is assuming that your horse is sound and able to complete each day. Endurance is a true team sport in that it is up to the horse and the rider to pace themselves such that when the horse arrives at several vet checks along the way it can pass the various tests to proceed. If the horse is out of shape and worked too hard the vet can “pull” the horse and the ride miles will not count. If something happens on trail and the horse becomes lame, he is pulled from the event.
Endurance riding is a great time
Here are some photographs from the Top of the Rock endurance ride at the same venue from last year. I want you to notice that all these riders look like they are having a blast. That is one thing about endurance riding and other trail events. Everyone seems to have a grand time participating in this sport. For more information about endurance riding go tohttp://aerc.org and explore the site. To see a listing of the competitions throughout the country and the world click on “competition” then “schedule” on the site.
These are still photographs, but understand that these folks are tooling down these trails either at a fast trot or sometimes at canter. I try to warn them I am there so that their horses don’t get surprised and spook, but as they come on by I have to move off the trail and get out of the way as they rumble by.
Funny thing is, if the rider is totally exhausted and running on empty, there is not someone telling them then need to pull from the event (if someone is experiencing heat exhaustion or something like that, of course that gets noticed and people step in). Most rides have limited distance rides of 25 miles, and 50 mile events, and in some cases 100 mile events are scheduled at a ride.
This year another photographer named Daniel will be shooting on Friday and Sunday and I will be shooting and selling images from Saturday. I plan to shoot for stock photos on Friday and I am going to experiment with video clips as well. I’m excited to post them here on my blog so that people interested in this sport can see more of what it is about. I will also be able to put the clips on my Smugmug proofing site for purchase via download and you can then embed them on your site, share them on facebook and load them on Youtube for your friends and family to see. This should be great fun and an interesting experiment.
Equestrian Trail Event Photography
My goal as the photographer for the ride on Saturday is to try to capture trail photos of every rider in the 25s and 50s as they pass me on trail. Sometimes this is difficult because riders will pass me in bunches of 3 to 5 riders such that some riders are blocked by the lead rider and then zip by. If I can get to two places where both the 25s and the 50s pass by sometimes I can get two shots of most riders giving them more images to purchase. After shooting all morning I have the images processed into 4x6s for sale at the event that evening and when I get home I process the images onto my web site so people can purchase 5x7s, 8x10s and larger prints, shirts, mousepads, and other items.
Come and See What Endurance Sport is All About
You are welcome to come an watch an event if you are not sure if you want to participate and some rides have novice or fun rides for beginners. Riders are more than willing to help you along and show you the ropes if you are a new participant. Don’t be shy, but also it is important that you NOT join up with the very competitive front runners who have very fit horses and lots of experience. If you try to keep up with these folks on a horse with little or no training you will have a bad experience. Many riders like to hold back and start slow so that they can enjoy the event and pace their horse to finish. These would be good people to stay with at your first couple or rides until you know how they run and so that you can get both you and your horse into shape for this type of event.
To Finish is to Win
There is an old slogan that used to be mentioned lots, ” To finish is to win”. Any newbe should have this in their mind on there first several events. Endurance riders know how to have a great time competing. The challenge of knowing your horse, navigating the trails, and enjoying the ride make for great fun for everyone involved.
At the vet checks and back in camp, I do the best I can to make some candid portraits of horse and rider pairs. If you see me at your ride, please ask for portraits like this if you would like one. I’m already there, so I don’t charge extra to take the portraits. I may have you move into better light or to an area with a nicer background, but for a portrait like this it is a very small price to pay.
After a long ride, it’s time for a tender touch and a long nap.
This post will appear on my web site: http://www.photosbypdemott.com It will also appear on my facebook personal page and my facebook fan page along with a post on twitter. I am a portrait photographer in the Dayton, Ohio area specializing in on-location portraits of seniors, families and children. I also have a specialty in equine (horse) photography and will come to your farm or stable for your session. If you like my style I encourage you to follow me in any or all the above mentioned areas. If you are a photographer, I enjoy networking with other photographers both professional and amateur.