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Photographing Magnificent Horses - Norfolk UK

Updated: Aug 12, 2022

I've recently spent time at Burnham Market International Horse Trials and Houghton International Horse Trials (also called eventing) in Norfolk as an accredited photographer for a media company.

What beautiful locations to spend a few of days capturing brave sports men and women riding their majestic horses over and through a variety of challenging obstacles, from logs and fences to hedges and water. Burnham Market weather was almost perfect for photography, sunny with clouds, that's my ideal conditions. I won't mention the constant bitter wind that went right through you as fair bit of the course was pretty exposed. The wind doesn't really affect my shots so I certainly won't be complaining about that. If it had been raining or totally overcast the images wouldn't have half the impact.

Horse jumping event
Show jumping event

Houghton was hot! very hot! I am not a heat lover. I suffered after day one, after walking the whole course with gear, these courses are usually around 3 or 4 miles (roughly 5 to 7km) I don't know how the horses and riders manage to cope.

The announcement loud speaker system was amazingly clear all round the event, not like the old muffled train station announcements where you'd be lucky to make out what language the guy was hurling information at you, let alone understand anything.

What I try to capture in these images is the power and beauty of these very large animals and riders working together to clear some crazy obstacles. I love to see the definition and structure of the horses, the muscles at full capacity, stretching for every ounce of energy. These horses can weigh over half a tonne yet still manage to leap over 1.2m high and land 5, 6 or 7 meters in distance with someone on their back. The thundering noise as they go past and the heavy panting sound (of the horse) isnt something you can capture in a photo, so I would recommend getting some first hand close up experience. Reminds me of the first time I was at a Formula One circuit, the sound of an F1 car going past when you are standing near the track, is something you can only fully appreciate when you have been there.

I definitely don't pretend to be a horse expert in any way, but were magnificent to me. I was pretty happy with my interpretation of horse and rider in harmony. As always, love to hear your views either way on my images. Here is a link to some of the images on my events page.

Horse equestrian events
Norfolk equestrian eventing

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