Dear Diary 2nd September - “But Someone Has To Do It Tour”. Burghley to Blair, my daily diary of two weeks of top end equestrian sport from behind the lens. The waterproof winter gloves!! Despite the best efforts of the Darford Crossing, an accident on the M11, a pit stop and a traffic hold up in Stamford, I made the trot up as Oliver Townend presented the first of his three rides to the jury. The nick of time will do nicely. The forecast rain arrived later than expected and when it came the die hard photographers in the bunch high tailed it to the cover of the grandstand. Now it is not a sign of weakness to break early at the first drop of rain, even if you have good rain covers on the camera, but a sound judgement decision, as the first will inherit the better shooting positions. Today I think I would have been a close second to Usain Bolt and was a good few seconds up on Nico Morgan and Jon Clarke. We all agreed it probably was not the best of positions - but at least we were dry. On a few occasions I have been asked do I prefer Badminton or Burghley and I think they both have merit, but I have never understood with such a fantastic backdrop here at Burghley House why the the trot up is in the arena. I guess there must be some logic or historic reason behind this - but it seems a lost opportunity to me. So with images wired I had a first look at some of the elements of the cross country course, which runs the other way around this year. The area around the Lion Bridge looks interesting, assuming the light is good on Saturday and the exit at the second water looks promising. There is famous shot of Tiger Woods at the Masters Golf by Robert Beck which a variation of may work if there is a good crowd at the Slate Mine [Fence #8]. Tomorrow I will take a look around the Winners’ Avenue [#12], Cottesmore Leap [#13ab], Land Rover Dairy Farm [#14abc] section all of which I have never shot. And the gloves? I have packed everything, including the kitchen sink [I am in a Camper Van]. On the clothing front I have packed to handle all that the elements could throw at me for the two weeks. As I left this morning I thought - Is there any chance that it could be very cold and very wet? I reasoned there is a possibility [I hate taking pictures with cold hands] so went back to pack the gloves. I do hope I have no need for them.
Picture : Local Rider Sophie Jenman and Geronimo at the First Inspection