Equine Photographer West Sussex Parham Point to Point 2017

Living in rural West Sussex means there are plenty of local horse related events to enjoy. If you’re a keen equine photographer you’ll be in your element - race days are perfect for getting in some practise and adding to your personal photo collection. As you can imagine, countryside pursuits will be popular in a county known for its landscape and equine population. Our local Point to Point race is held in my village in fact, around 2 miles from my home. There are several well-known racing stables in the locality and jockeys from those can hone their skills on their doorstep.

A Point to Point is a little different from a normal horse race, in that it’s conducted across open farmland rather than a dedicated racetrack. These events are friendly, very casual, and accessible to everyone. It’s also an opportunity to catch up with friends and neighbours. I’ve included some images taken at the 2016 gathering.

In photographic terms it’s also a brilliant way of getting to grips with your sports photography. I attended as a local, I wasn’t there in any professional capacity. As with any busy event, it isn’t always possible to gain clean backgrounds. And why would you? The idea much of the time is to convey the atmosphere of the day and to say something about the location and the people who attended. There’s a rather nice champagne tent too, serving award winning wine from our local vineyard. I couldn’t resist a warming snifter, but it came at the price of having my photo taken.

The races themselves are always interesting to watch. You will see a good number of female jockeys as well, and these are proving very successful. There is also a children’s point to point before the main races start - and these races are contested just as enthusiastically as the adult ones. As with any high-speed sport there will be crashes and falls. I’m pleased to say that the jockeys and horses remained unhurt on this particular day. It’s a fairly dangerous sport though as is pretty much any aspect of horse riding. When I was younger I had several horses and ponies and several nasty injuries which haunt me to this day.