I can’t say I would be the best poster-child for any kind of horse race. I do think that horses are some of the most majestic creatures in the animal kingdom, and, like most nine-year-olds, I had a solid two or three months of extreme equestrian obsession (much to the distaste of my parents), though probably confined to The Saddle Club (Hello World) and National Velvet. But when it comes to things like the Spring Racing Carnival, the extent of my involvement is limited to staying behind the scenes on race-goer experiences – shooting artwork and working on the design of a Swisse Marquee, say, or photo content for Lexus. When someone shoves a race book under my nose, I don’t really know what to do with it, aside from laugh at horse names like “Last Chance to Dance” or “Red Hot Filly Pepper” or “A Horse Sized Duck” or “Sofa Can Fast”.
I’ll also admit that the first thing I thought of when rudely awoken by thunder and lighting on the dawn of Derby Day on Saturday, was that the
poor racehorses would have to gallop through mud. I know there’s always a lot of negative press on the perceived animal cruelty involved in the whole fanfare, and I honestly haven’t done enough research on the subject to be able to speak for or against it, but I probably do prefer not being able to see the track from the marquees while I’m working.
On a lighter note, this beautiful creature I shot with one stormy July day, before I headed out to the US again, was the sweetest and most patient thing. Standing still while this crazy girl tried to shoot self-portraits in the wind and rain, watching the tripod falling over in the mud and hats and reflectors fly across the ring, all the while having Spring Racing dresses blowing up in his face, can’t have been the most exciting part of his day.
Old mate Bear posed like a legend.