On a day where I'm spending hours processing the results of 3 days of intensive shooting, and one child is saying quite happily that he doesn't want to go out after our exertions at the sales, and the other keeps popping in asking when she can go to the park, I've just had a little look at these photos.
I wasn't able to stay long enough at the sales to capture this lovely colt going through the ring. The kids were exhausted, and we'd been at Newmarket since 9.30am, and in all honesty, them making it till nearly 5pm that day was a pretty remarkable achievement. So the first job for the morning was to track down Lot 341, the colt by Street Sense out of Maria di Castiglia. This colt is a 3/4 brother I think they call it to the Melbourne Cup and Australian Cup winner Shocking. I feared he would have already left Newmarket, but to my joy, on arriving at Widden's stables (the colt's Vendor) they informed me that he was still about. I had to get permission from the owners to have him brought out of the box to photograph him, and while we were waiting for this, I got these little treasures of the tired baby pony.
Yearling sales are tough for the horses. Their nerves are on edge all week, they are in and out of their box like yo-yos, and the sale ring experience is noisy, busy and un-nerving for most of them. I felt a little bit bad getting him up and out of his box, but hope that one day, when he's hopefully standing in the winner's circle like his illustrious older brother, that he'll understand, and we'll know that these little gems were worth the effort.
I used to stable my horses, and loved it. I hate having them in a paddock 24 hours a day (oh Freelance, I'm so sorry, I miss your stable too..). There is lovely serenity in the daily routine of seeing them early each morning, and then again each the afternoon when you return to bring in, feed, rug up and put them back to bed with a kiss and a sugar cube. Whenever I'd arrive in the morning and find my mare lying down, or the old crazy thoroughbred in the old days, I would always spent five minutes sitting down in the box with them, especially when things got tough. It's particularly calming and healing when you've had one of those conversations with someone that make you recoil as the realisation of what they've said sinks in, or had an experience that has upset or let you down. I could have done with a little sit down in a box with a pony over the past week. However it was almost as nice to photograph it. Like I have said many times before, ponies make everything better.