Tradition unlike any other
A Maryland tradition unlike any other. Well, that's not the official saying, but that's the sense I got after shooting the 116th Maryland Hunt Cup steeplechase horse race in Glyndon, Md.
I got a call by my editor at The Baltimore Sun to cover the long-standing, historical horse race and was excited to document it. Yet another Maryland event that I've known about, and wanted to shoot, yet never got the opportunity to do so in the past.
Out in the country of Glyndon, where driving provides ample views of rolling hills of lush green grass and obvious horse culture; the race is a $75,000 race that 12 horses started and only six finished, and is a brutal, four-mile long course with 22 jumps.
While relatively small compared to races similar over the pond and other types horse races, the event is a high society type of gathering. It's not so much horse racing people, but horse people if that makes sense.
Half of my assignment was to cover the spectators and gathering. Without sounding ignorant, it was obvious of the money and class these folks had. From their attire, choice of beverages to the overall atmosphere. In other words, a high society type of event. I attempted to show that, although not so entirely evident here in this post.
I arrived early to setup some remotes and was unfortunately denied mounting anything near or around jumps, which would have provided stunning visuals. So in an effort to be in two places at once, figuratively speaking, I only got to photograph one jump before sprinting with a lot of gear to get the finish
In the end, Twill Do out-dueled Battle Op down the stretch to win by a half length in one of the closest finishes in race history. I was able to mount a remote high above the finish and get the close finish somewhat head on.
I give a lot of respect to the horse racing photographers out there. It's a difficult sport to shoot, even more so when you do an entire race alone. Nonetheless, I had a fun day and it got me excited for Preakness in a couple weeks - Giddy up.