04.30.11 pt. 2 - A Hootin Good Time

Spotlights, USEF president David O'Connor striping, @Ecogold's Hamish beauty shots, a French Appaloosa, a QH with a fro, @Ariat Gina Miles in helmet and spurs that jingle-jangle, a beer run and sliding stops in a flat saddle. It's not what the tornadoes blew in, it's just the freestyle @NRHA class at @Kentucky Reining Cup! @FEI and @USDF dressage riders take note, the @Alltech Arena was PACKED, and the crowd loved it!

(click image for slide show)

 

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04.29.11 - Pardon the Interruption

Celebrities are what so many organizations and events trot out to try to drum up coverage. I work in the newspaper industry, I know. Politicians, names that were D-list before you were born, etc. Celebrity does nothing for me, I didn't have teen stars on my wall as a kid, I don't understand screaming and fainting in the presence of 3D persons. Everyone is human. Those that I respect are those that (seem) to have kept hold of that.

I will admit I know nothing about the specifics of reining, but I will say I was impressed by Lyle Lovett's commitment to the sport. His horse Smart and Shiney was ridden by Italian Marco Ricotta at the World Equestrian Games. Lovett played the closing ceremonies of the WEG to a very appreciative crowd of volunteers, riders, and journalists!

Six months later he was back with his horse at the Kentucky Horse Park riding himself in the 1st Ariat Kentucky Reining Cup. I admit I know nothing of the specifics of reining. But I can tell you I was impressed by his...seat. Go ahead and laugh. He rides quite well. I have seen many who flop in the saddle at best. Lovett is sequre in the tack. He really rides. His leg is secure, his body is with the motion, that is something you can't fake. No matter he finished last. He was up against the members of the gold medal team from WEG. But he was there, he was open to all interviews and he was as uncelebrity as he could be. I listened to the two albums I had on the iPod on my drive home.

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Rolex Kentucky CCI****

04.28.11 - Take a ride round the course

Sorry for the delay getting the slide show loaded. I began the blog and the files were moving, but then lost connection, had to shower for the annual Alltech Press Dinner (not to be missed) since it was the night we were getting out A+ Awards for the coverage of the World Equestian Games.

I am now back in the campground, in my truck, still in my dress, moving the show for a second time. Enjoy!

 

04.27.11 - Rolex Kentucky, Day 1

Spring in Kentucky is green grass, Rolex and tornadoes. Did I mention I am camping in a tent this year? Last night I did sleep in the truck due to the warning. And my tent was still on the hill this morning. The jog was moved up due to the weather forecast, and then moved back because the cell that moved through came for the inspection. All the horses were evacuated to the reining indoor, sorry no pics, that was not a story I was willing to chase. You will have to make due with the jog images. Everyone passed, though two were held. The weather shifted so fast it looks like it could be two different days!

 

03.13.11 - UP ALL NIGHT

As a kid I always wanted to stay up late. I had a babysitter who would let me watch TV with her until my parents pulled in the driveway. I would then run to bed and pretend to be asleep.

These days I like my sleep. I do tend to be a bit of a night owl, bed is sometime between 12 and 1. So Thursday into Friday morning I was just drifting off when my scanner pulled my eyelids back open. I was still laying down for the original shooting dispatch, I was sitting up when I heard the severity and I was headed down the stairs when it became clear that it was police involved. Turned out the officers shot at the car and occupents who had drove at them.

I spent the next four hours at the scene, was home at 5, let the dog out, showered, ate and went into the office to get the photos on the paper's site. I napped for 30 minutes or so on the couch in the lobby, and then was back out at it again.

 

03.05.11 - PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL FLOWER SHOW

One of the first signs of spring in the Philadelphia region is the annual Flower Show that is a Mecca for any gardener, home decorator or nesting enthusiast. I haven't been down for it in years, but with my new role at the paper concentrating on digital media, I am looking for stories to tell in photos and video. So the opportunity to get some of our local participants setting up on the last day was a fun first project. One of the problems going during setup is that none of the stage lights are one, so the impact of the displays is not at their peak. This is a hand-held HDR. (Not so bad, if I do say so myself.)

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As far as I am concerned, this is the greatest display this year. I like all the manicured, impeccable designs, but those are so put of reach for me. This installation from Delaware Valley College uses wooden shipping crates, the shell of a 1960s East German car, a bath tub and wire framing for the raised beds, water feature and planters. I am so inspired I will be searching for wooden crates from now on!

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And finally, the slide show I made for the paper.