This photo was taken at The Royal Windsor Horse Show and is the closest I have ever been to serious competitive sport with horses. This competitor was taking part in a driving marathon and the photo was taken at a point in the course where a series of gates had to be negotiated under timed conditions. This required a combination of speed and accuracy. It’s possible to get a sense of how fast they were going by noticing that the horse on the right has only one hoof on the ground as they go in to a turn. They are also negotiating gates that are by no means flimsy as evidenced by the sturdy poles.
It’s quite a privilege to get this close to the action in a truly competitive sport featuring some of the top competitors and I was certainly struck by the skill and agility of both driver and horses. It’s an amazing witness to the mutual trust between the driver horses that’s necessary for success and it makes me think that we need to exercise this more among ourselves as people in whatever ventures we are collectively involved in. Incidentally I was also trusting that they would not crash into the barrier behind which I was standing!
For those interested the photo was shot at 1/640 sec at f5.6 on a focal length of 55mm. The lighting diffused by heavy cloud cover so I opted for an ISO of 800 to give me the flexibility of a fast shutter speed and decent depth of field.