Sunday, June 13, 2010

Colorado Horse Park CCI & Horse Trials

Yesterday my friend Teresa and I spent a most excellent afternoon watching the cross country phase of the Colorado Horse Park CCI and Horse Trials. This event is held every year at the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Colorado.

Although I've been to the Horse Park many times, I've always stayed on the main showgrounds. The cross country course is located across the street and down the road, and it took us a little while to find it. Eventually, though, we saw galloping horses in the distance and headed that way.
We parked the car and followed the horses.There's a lot to see during the cross country phase of a Horse Trial. At any given moment there may be as many as three or four horses on different parts of the course. Spectators have access to all parts of the course, but are expected to stay out of the horses' way.Probably the safest way to view the action is to sit on a jump that's not being used.It's a good idea to hustle when you move from one part of the course to another...
because you never know what might come racing up behind you!
Even if you're careful, spectating can be dangerous. Twice, Teresa and I were nearly mowed down by runaway horses. The first was this riderless grey.
The second incident involved this pair. They missed a turn and rode up over a spectator area where we were standing.That was a little too close for comfort!There was excitement on course as well with several falls and refusals. Luckily, none of the injuries appeared to be serious.
Mostly, however, the riders rode well,
the horses jumped well,
and everyone seemed to be having a really good time.
I had so much fun! If you've never been to a three day event, you just don't know what you're missing.
I also managed to take nearly six hundred photos. If there's anything cross country related that you'd like to see, be sure to let me know. I have horse, tack and jump close-ups, water jump sequences, drop fence sequences, starting box sequences... It's possible that I missed something, but I kind of doubt it!


  1. The tack! I was there but still... a lot of it has to be seen to be enjoyed/believed :)

  2. As far as requests, I'd love a good starting box background shot for photo shooting. In fact, I love all kinds of backgrounds for photo shooting!

    I used to 3 day - well, mostly 2 day, since there weren't too many 3 days around here - and it's the most fun ever. Even more fun than hunting, which is my second most favorite thing to do on a horse.

    Jennifer, I spent last night at the Germantown Charity - walked by the Judy's truck and thought of you!

  3. Oh I am so jealous!!!!! I would love to go to the Germantown Charity Show again. Does the Germantown Commissary still have a booth there? I just loved their barbeque nachos. Mmmmmmmmm!

    Have you ever evented at Longreen? I went to spectate there one time and got roped into being a jump judge. I spent the whole day watching only one jump. It was fun but kind of disappointing, too!

    None of the start box pictures I took would work as a background (I was using a really long lens so most don't even have the entire box in them). Maybe next time!

  4. Those are some seriously good photos!

  5. I live so close to the Colorado Horse Park and never seem to go see any events there. I can see I need to change that! I'm facinated by the obstacles themselves and really want to make some in 1:9 scale...someday!

  6. Linda--Thank you! I really ought to look into some sort of part time horse photography business. I am just way too happy standing out in a field and shooting pictures of horses.

    Jane--I took a TON of jump pictures. Many of the obstacles would be very easy to build in traditional scale. I'll post the best pictures here eventually, but if you remind me, I can put them on a cd and give them to you next time we see each other. Of course, you really ought to go check them out in person, but be warned that it's a LOT of walking. Whew! I think Teresa and I must have walked at least five miles yesterday!

  7. Yep! My first event was at Longreen. I was never a hunt club member but used to guest hunt with them too. I still have a photo of me in my very first 2 day at Longreen jumping the canoe - about 5 feet in the air over an 18" canoe. My little horse did not care for that obstacle!

  8. Great pictures! I will look forward to more jump pictures as well :)

  9. Awesome photos, thanks for sharing! I was in Colorado (Ft. Collins, Boulder and Greeley) this weekend so I can attest to the wet weather you captured in pixels. I didn't know about all the fun stuff going on in Parker, drat. Another year maybe :-)