The Cheshire County Show with the Bloodhounds!

In Hunting Photography by Ciara Doone Rush1 Comment

_MG_07482015 has seen me bravely entering the world of ‘the trade stands!’ which to be completely honest has been a slightly daunting prospect! With the Warrington Horse Show in May and the Cheshire County show last week it has involved a lot of planning, a fair bit of last minute photo framing, quite a few thank you’s to printing labs for turning prints around quicker than usual and to friends for then saving me several trips to Manchester by picking them up, the odd last minute panic and some excellent (and to scale by the nearest millimetre) drawings of said trade stand! It has been proved to me that my boyfriend is a saint, my Mum an angel and I’ve had my fears confirmed that I am an unwavering and uncompromising perfectionist which is all well and good for my photographic endeavours but not to good for the sleep it sneakily steals from me in the run up to producing a trade stand!

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Of course one of the biggest thank you’s I owe is to the as ever wonderful and hugely accommodating Cheshire Bloodhounds who welcomed myself, my trade stand and (even) my Mum 😉 to their site at the Cheshire County show last week. It was great fun getting to know the team a little better as in the past I’ve always been teetering on the fine line between getting some great hunting action shots whilst trying to avoid being mowed down by a pack of keen hounds and a large field of steaming and muddy horses and riders.

_MG_0186Having said that the Cheshire County Show certainly wasn’t without it’s exhilarating moments (my trade stand aside!) as I had naively and a tad enthusiastically signed up to photograph the hunts horses and hounds in action at the show. The hound parade on the first day was enough of an indication as to the likelihood of the Cheshire County Show being the pinnacle of my county show/trade stand career when I narrowly avoided being mowed down by all 4 exhibiting hunts whilst innocently standing in the middle of the ring taking some photos. I was believing the little voice in my head which was telling me to just ‘stay still’, ‘don’t move,’ ‘the horses won’t run you over,’ ‘look at the hounds, they’re fine,’ ‘they’ll all avoid you’ until I heard the yelps of a hound who hadn’t been quite so lucky a mere few feet from where I was standing, I fought the urge to RUN and prepared myself for what was to come the following day….


Having ridden since my little legs could barely reach the end of the saddle flap and having been in, around and on horses for the vast majority of my life there are few occasions where I feel anything less than completely comfortable around them. The Cheshire County Show Inter Hunt Relay however was one of these rare times where I briefly questioned the life expectancy of your average Equestrian photographer…. and there were a couple of moments where I would have felt a lot more comfortable on board one of the rearing, galloping, overly excited beasties than at the mercy of them on my own two (still relatively short) legs! It was also one of those occasions in my (not nearly ready to end) career where only having one pair of eyes seemed like such a raw deal. I’m sure any teachers out there will be able to empathise with the desire to be equipped with at least another pair of eyes somewhere in our heads. A major design flaw when working with horses and photographing inter hunt relays in particular….


Needless to say though after all of the build up and excitement and the odd near miss I survived and lived to tell the tale (quite literally thanks to this blog) and will certainly go into the next inter hunt relay (yes I would be foolish enough to photograph another one!) with a much clearer idea of the chaos that is about to unfold. Photographing one horse at a time out cross country or show jumping is inevitably going to feel a little on the tame after last week!


My own death defying experience aside it was a fantastic result for the outstanding Cheshire Bloodhounds team who stormed through the first round to the semi final, galloped through that to the finals and won in style and with time to spare and four very happy looking horses indeed!


The celebrations preceded the riders return to the Bloodhounds stand at the show and there was without doubt an air of merriment as the clouds closed in on the show and it became time after two rather hot and dusty days to pack up and head home for a well deserved feet up, hot bath and glass of something….or other…..!


Now for anyone who might have missed out on visiting my stand at the Cheshire Show for one reason or another I am extending one of the deals I had at my stand for all of you lucky blog readers! If you are interested in booking a shoot with myself and do so before the end of Tuesday the 7th of July I will be discounting Portrait shoots by £25 and B*Spoke Competition Shoots by £50 if you quote ‘The Cheshire Bloodhounds’ upon booking!


For anyone looking for any of the other photos I took of the Inter Hunt Relay on the day they are all available HERE over on my website and prints can be purchased.


For now though I will leave you with a collection of photos of the Cheshire Bloodhounds from the show last week and hope you enjoy them as much as I did taking them! (I’m looking forward to my next exhilarating hunting photography occasion already!)


Until next time, 
Ciara x

The Hound Parade Day 1: _MG_0033_MG_0014_MG_0020_MG_0023_MG_0037_MG_0043_MG_0048_MG_0051_MG_0056 _MG_0066_MG_0073_MG_0075_MG_0078 _MG_0110 _MG_0093_MG_0090_MG_0100_MG_0102_MG_0103_MG_0089_MG_0111_MG_0112_MG_0118 _MG_0123_MG_0125_MG_0132_MG_0139_MG_0144_MG_0176_MG_0152 _MG_0069 _MG_0168 _MG_0155_MG_0171_MG_0184

The Hound Parade Day 2:

_MG_0277_MG_0272_MG_0267_MG_0265_MG_0249 _MG_0243 _MG_0236 _MG_0233 _MG_0230 _MG_0224 _MG_0221 _MG_0287_MG_0308_MG_0310 The Inter Hunt Relay; First Round:_MG_0340_MG_0341_MG_0346_MG_0350_MG_0352 _MG_0353 _MG_0354 _MG_0379_MG_0376_MG_0375_MG_0373_MG_0359_MG_0363_MG_0360_MG_0365_MG_0389_MG_0391_MG_0390 _MG_0399 _MG_0397 _MG_0396 Round 2; The Semi Finals……_MG_0492_MG_0493_MG_0495_MG_0498_MG_0505_MG_0510_MG_0507_MG_0512_MG_0516_MG_0519_MG_0525_MG_0520_MG_0533_MG_0534_MG_0541_MG_0531The Final:_MG_0589 _MG_0594_MG_0595_MG_0598_MG_0600_MG_0601_MG_0605_MG_0607_MG_0610_MG_0611_MG_0612_MG_0615_MG_0618_MG_0620_MG_0621_MG_0623_MG_0624_MG_0628_MG_0634_MG_0633_MG_0635_MG_0640_MG_0715_MG_0738


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