The Autumn Stage Plus 2019 is a recreational ride on horseback with twelve exercises from the Basic Trec that can be completed without obligation. The 18 kilometer long ride goes through forest and heath on unpaved (equestrian) paths in Koekangerveld. Each participant receives a road map at the start, but because there are also arrows along the route to be taken, this will require little. This 20 October can be started as a solo rider, in team or as a group. What about me? I'm waiting for them with a camera.
A report in word and image
On a foggy October 20th I drive from Assen to Koekangerveld. The sun just comes through and that gives a nice image looking over the meadows. I'd almost stop for it. It's around 9:30 when I meet Jos. The man from the organization and who invited me to photograph his event. I didn't have to select a place along the route beforehand, Jos already had an obstacle in mind for me.
Because this obstacle is almost at the end, there is the possibility to take pictures first in the beginning. But first I'm led by his son to hurdle nine. The path is hard, so reach by car. I'm told where the participants come from on the spot. Then we drive to the other location where I'm left alone.
This is where the riders come from between the trees, from a dark path that runs along a large pond. Very nice, but because of the lack of light difficult to photograph. I keep an eye on the time, because the estimate is that the horses are on the road for about an hour to reach "my" obstacle. Every ten minutes, the next group is allowed to leave, so there are not many pictures taken here. It's agreed i'll put everyone in the picture. It will be a long day with 70 participants.
I'll be back on my way within the hour. The first riders who came past me told me they were the second group. Always beautiful when people think along with you! I park the car near the fence, behind a couple of big trees with bushes in front of it. So it's not in the background of my photos. I'm going to open the gate. Normally you can't get in here on horseback, but today you can. Whether I just want to keep an eye on the sheep, because they have to stay in the current piece. The organization hasn't seen them walking nearby yet, but in case it's going to go wrong, I can call the number on the road map. Fortunately, I didn't need it.
Obstacle 9 is a hedge, less than 30 cm high. There is no obligation to jump on this. There is therefore enough space left around the obstacle. Soon I notice that it is not an unnecessary luxury, because many hikers come along. Who regularly wonder aloud what the purpose of this obstacle is accompanied by me and two cameras around my neck. After a short explanation about the Autumn Stage plus 2019, some continue to watch the horses fly over the obstacle.
Where one horse takes the obstacle as if a jump of a thick meter is needed, the other is hesitant when asked to step leg by leg. Several participants let their horse walk towards it first, explore the place and then jump over it with a run. The high jumps at least yield spectacular pictures. A few times I see the horse make an emergency stop just before the obstacle. Everyone stays happy, where I saw myself in mind already launched at such a moment.
The rest of the day the sun doesn't show itself. It's still a grey day, the settings have been adjusted accordingly. Thanks to the open field, the photos don't get dark. In this respect, I am very pleased with the choice of the organisation to put me here. The participants are sometimes very curious about the photo of the just made jump. On the screen I show the result, something that is not common. Thanks to the 10 minutes between each group, there is time to be able to do this. Excited about the result shown, they continue their way, ask for a portrait photo or turn around for another jump. The atmosphere is good at it.
When I report to the organization at the end, most of them left with a goodiebag, including my card. After a mutual thank you, our work is neither done. They are still cleaning up on Saturday and Sunday, while I get to work editing all the photos. And the movie.
Film of the Autumn Stage Plus 2019
While shooting, I mounted the smartphone on top of the camera and made short shots of a number of participants. These recordings are combined into this short film as an impression of the event:
Result of the day, photos
It was a very spectacular day for me as a photographer to be able to capture everything. I left over 500 photos to the event. I will choose a few photos and post online (website, Facebook, Instagram) as a short impression of the day. I've seen a lot of enthusiastic faces. Thanks for the many thumbs etc.
The photos of the Autumn Ritplus 2019 can be viewed below. The further financial settlement runs through Oypo, so that possible combination with other events / photographers can be combined. Read my short explanation about Oypo and the possibilities for ordering a print, digital file, garment or other gift with the photo taken. Enjoy this day, have fun and watch until next time.