Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dressage at DevonWood

What is it about Dressage at  DevonWood that makes it so much fun?  Party. BIG party. Dressage.  LOTS of dressage and beautiful horses.  Riders and horses come from far and wide, locally, regionally and internationally, to compete.   Vendor row is just one big shopping adventure as the vendors have come from far and wide as well.  A world class facility set in a rolling green landscape with 4 competition arenas and 4 warm up arenas, all surrounded by Oregon evergreens and if we're lucky, on a clear day, a snow capped Mt Hood graces the background.

There is a special atmosphere, good sized crowds gather for dressage in the Pacific NW, in fact D@DW is the largest dressage competition of its type in the region.  The Rattner family and their dedicated staff each make it their personal mission to create an event that will go smoothly and that everyone will enjoy.  They put their heart into it and their personal touches are everywhere. Having been privy to a bit of the behind the scenes organization, I can assure you that it takes countless hours of work and dedication starting months in advance to put this all together. 
It could not happen without volunteers. Because I value the volunteers so much, I have donated a framed print for a drawing for one of the  winning volunteers.   I would like to see more people donate to the volunteers.  They deserve a little special attention.
As the official photographer of this event, I work long exhausting hours each day but at the same time, I enjoy every minute of it and I am invigorated by the atmosphere.  From the beginning of each day when riders are warming up, horses rim lit with the early morning light, on through the day to the setting sun through the trees in the evening, casting long shadows and warm fading light, the entire scene is full of images swirling all around me, I'm like a kid in a candy store. 

Early morning warm up at DevonWood.

 With 4 competition rings to cover,  each year I bring in a qualified guest photographer to help me photograph this show.  This year my friend Terri Miller will assist me in covering this event.   Terri should need no introduction, but if you are not familiar with her work,  I can assure you that she knows a thing or two about photographing dressage.  Also, my friend Stacie Burgess will be handling the office details, signing up horses to be photographed, answering your questions and managing the downloading of thousands of images into their proper places.   When I start to think about stressing about how big this show is, I just remind myself that I have two very capable awesome people helping me and for that I am most grateful.

   Photographic services for test rides are by sign up.
You can sign up at our table in the show office starting on Thursday prior to the show, or sign up early online by clicking on this link.  We also photograph  awards, candids and make a special effort to capture the general flavor of the event.  Sign up is not necessary for awards or candid shots.

I am completing my preparations and starting to pack the car to set up my operations in the show office.  Its just about SHOW TIME.  

1 comment:

Jane said...

what a great show of your horse riding techniques. Keep up the good work.