Each year we’ve had the honour of getting to know and work with some amazing, talented riders through our Young Sponsored Riders programme. Olivia was one of our 2019 riders, and rather than write a blog about her, we wanted to get her perspective on her year, and share her experience of her sponsorship year with us!
Having known of Olivia for a few years, we could see she’s a very talented rider. We were really impressed with her entry for our sponsorship competition, which she sent in November 2018. It really showed her commitment and passion for her sport (dressage), her hard work and dedication.
So, from a tough field of over 100 entries, we selected her to be one of our 2019 Young Sponsored Riders!
“Back in November 2018 I entered the Jo Hansford Photography Young Sponsored Rider competition and was incredibly excited when I received the news in January 2019 that I had been chosen as one of three riders to be sponsored by Jo and Nic. This was my first experience of having a professional company offer their support and backing for my riding and what was more, having a photoshoot and mentoring sessions with Natasha Baker was an amazing opportunity as part of the programme!”
Meeting Natasha Baker MBE
“We all met in March at Whatley Manor to meet Jo and Nic as well as Natasha and my fellow riders. It was a lovely afternoon to chat horses, view the collections from photoshoots and have our first mentoring session with Natasha. Jo and Nic were so welcoming and made it a fun relaxing time with no pressure at all. I came away from the meeting very motivated to represent Jo and Nic and also ready to read ‘The Chimp Paradox’, a book that Natasha had recommended. I also started to think about planning my photoshoot, and was very much looking forward to receiving a branded numnah and rug for my horse Mac to wear at shows, and represent the company. “
“We frequently kept in touch via email, and I updated Jo and Nic with all my competitions, how training was going, and giving various stories of the goings-on at the stud. Around this time, we were in foaling season and I was juggling lots of horses and University. We managed to find a convenient date for the photoshoot and started discussions on what to expect, which horses to photograph and locations around the yard as backgrounds.”
“The day of the shoot was in July and we were so lucky with the weather. It was about 25 degrees with beautiful sunshine. Because of the time of year, the shoot was to be very late afternoon, into the early evening to capture the sunset and not be squinting into the blaring sun whilst trying to smile at the same time!
I had Mac, Cleo and our young stallion (affectionately known as ‘Thirsty’) to get ready. This was all fine, however, two are greys and enjoy trying to be bay! They required rather a lot of scrubbing, huffing, and puffing! As Jo and Nic pulled through the gate at 4pm, I had just dived into the shower and emerged clean and a lot less flustered! We walked around the yard and village and Jo and Nic discussed the best places to take photos and then we headed back to the stables to start photographing with Mac. “
“We used the Stud Barn entrance to get black background shots and after some hilarious persuasion with carrots on a stick, managed to get some good shots with all 3 horses, particularly Thirsty, behaving impeccably. “
“Mac, being my main competition horse, was bridled up and I had a change of outfit and then we went for a walk down the lane to the village pond where between mouthfuls of grass and Mac looking in every direction but the camera, we achieved some good images! “
Photographing Minty the foal
“We came back to the yard and went to the fields where my 2 month old foal and his mum were happily eating. Minty the foal is by Mac and has the same friendly nature, so was more than happy to receive cuddles and have his picture taken! “
“The shoot was so relaxed yet professional and Jo and Nic had come so well equipped to keep the horses entertained and ears always pricked forward. I had never done a photo shoot before, but not once felt out of my depth or unsure of what to do! “
The Photo Viewing
“A week after the shoot I went to Holland for 5 weeks training so when I got back in September I went to Bristol to have a viewing evening with Jo to choose my favourite images and also a favourite image to be framed as part of the sponsorship. Jo put all the photos onto a slideshow and one by one we narrowed them down and decided on which ones to print, frame or keep digital copies. It was such a tough decision as each photo was just gorgeous but there were 4 photos of each horse (and foal) that were truly stunning and I will treasure these forever!
I cannot thank Jo and Nic enough for their incredible generosity of the sponsorship program. I have been so lucky to have Natasha as a professional rider to seek guidance from during our 2 mentoring sessions. The photos from the shoot are amazing and it was so great to have continual support and interest from Jo and Nic throughout the year. “
Thanks for your wonderful piece Olivia, it’s been an absolute pleasure getting to know you, mum Vicky & team and having you as a part of our Young Sponsored Rider programme! It was also great fun doing a photoshoot with you and the horses at Kington Langley stud, to create some exciting images, as a momentum for years to come.
Our Young Sponsored Riders Programme
You can find out more about the Kington Langley stud where Olivia is based and trains, here.
Finally, if you’re looking for Equine photography Wiltshire (or in any other county!) feel free to contact us to talk through a photoshoot, we’d love to hear from you!