Sarah, Silver & Jeffrey, Bentley

Last year I ran a competition to win a photoshoot, and the lucky winner was Sarah with her two handsome boys, Silver & Jeffrey. Just down the road from me, Sarah’s livery is on a gorgeous apple orchard – one I used to ride around as a child! It was wonderful to be able to come back, and provided a perfect backdrop.

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Silvern Crown is 21 years young, and has been with Sarah since he was just four years old. He has stunning bloodlines, of an old English line – the Crabbet Arabians – and was bred by the Duchess of Rutland of Belvoir Castle. He certainly holds an air of royalty about him!

Silver used to be out and about with Sarah on the showing circuit, and would often see his brothers. They were also no strangers to a bit of dressage, competing up to Medium together, and even winning a one day event! It sounds like he has turned his hoof to a bit of everything – if only he didn’t keep eating his bridles (6 at the last count, Sarah??!)

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Nowadays the boys keep Sarah sane; having two young children, the yard is a bit of a retreat!

Jeffrey is a totally different character altogether, and boy does he know he’s handsome. He joined the family 7 years ago, and is now in his prime aged 11. Once he’d had a quick check of my camera, he soon figured out the game, and forward popped the ears. With a very posh name like Rushton Bali Prince you’d be forgiven for thinking that he too is of royal descent. Sadly we don’t know as much about his heritage so it will remain today’s mystery! All I can tell you is that, like Rio, he has an awfully girly neigh!

Sarah and Jeffrey have been out together doing cross country and showjumping in the past, which is something that hopefully they can get back to soon, and Sarah tells me she has learnt a lot from him. In turn, she has become a much braver rider, and they’re a great team together, when he’s not trying to eat people’s fingers.

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I had a great time meeting you all, and look forward to seeing you get back out and about soon Sarah! Thank you for having me!

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Summer & Mitch, Trimley

Last month I took a jaunt down the road under greying skies to Trimley, where I met Summer and Mitch, mum Sophie and siblings Deacon and Leah. We had great fun and Leah did a great job with the squeaky carrot helping to get Mitch’s ears forward!

Before we got started with adorable little Mitch, we had arranged to borrow Carrie’s horse Ron who Summer had the pleasure of riding recently, and is very fond of! He was very happy about coming out to graze and pose for us, before heading in for his teatime and carrots. Carrie has played a big part in Summer and Mitch’s development in the last five months since Sophie took the plunge and bought him for her daughter. Most recently, Summer has been jumping, and even entered the local dressage competitions with Carrie’s guidance and they’ve been doing amazingly. Thanks for letting us borrow your handsome boy Carrie!

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Summer and Mitch have been together for just five months, and it’s clear to see that this cheeky pony already means the world to his little girl. Sophie tells me that Summer’s first ever riding lesson was on December 3rd 2016, and they bought Mitch having not owned a horse before. She took a chance on him for Summer, and they are already becoming an unbreakable team (even if he does like to see how well she bounces!)

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Summer’s favourite thing to do is ride, and enjoys getting in the saddle when she’s feeling overwhelmed with her autism, and what better way to relieve it? We took a little walk down to the jumping paddock so that Mitch and Summer could show us what they’ve been up to, but Mitch wasn’t feeling it to begin with! Luckily Carrie was on hand in the wings, and after a few bits of advice and encouragement they were off.

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I absolutely loved the cheeky character that Mitch showed at every turn, if you give him an inch he tries to take a mile, but as many of us know, it’s these cheeky traits that will teach us so much more. He also likes to try and have a nibble of anybody who gets to close, so you’d better keep an eye out!

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Sophie thank you for inviting me to photograph these two, it was an absolute pleasure to meet you all. I had a blast, and I hope you all enjoyed it too. I look forward to seeing those red rosettes coming home!

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Sharon & Archie, Battisford

Last month I visited a friend at her new yard in Battisford, with her horse Archie.

Previously a flat racer, this chestnut thoroughbred has bags of character, and has certainly set Sharon some challenges over the years. Like many of us, Sharon has experienced some confidence lows, particularly after a nasty fall, and some rather excitable antics on Archie’s part since. They have done a wonderful job of building their relationship from the ground back up again, and it was fantastic to see their bond is stronger than ever.

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Archie is a very loving horse, often whinnying hello as Sharon arrives on the yard, and more often than not he’s very happy to stand for cuddles and scratches. He soon realised what we were up to on the photoshoot, and the ears popped forward, which made my job much easier!

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Having walked down the road to get some shots on a local farm track, we had a heart stopping moment after Archie reared up and caught his lead rope with his leg. In what seemed like ultra slow motion off he went towards home, and very luckily made it in one piece. I hope he’s OK now Sharon and has gotten over his little moment!

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We kept within the yard boundary for the last few images, and caught a little of the sunset which was beautiful to see. Thank you so much for letting me come and catch up with you and your handsome boy Sharon, I hope you love your images!

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Nicky, Coda & Darcy

Nicky joined us in the bluebells for our recent photoshoot with Wendy & Idris. She brought along her not so little coblet Coda, and little Darcy.

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Coda came home to Nicky when he was just 9 months old, and wasn’t expected to grow quite as much as he has (I think there’s a theme here ladies!) He was last measured at 15.1hh and at 6 years old, he might still go up a little. They spend lots of time together doing groundwork, and Coda is becoming a fantastic Parelli horse. We even got some shots of him without his headcollar on in the bluebells. He did decide to go off for a wander (cue momentary heart-stoppage) but he soon came cantering down the track to rejoin us – stopping just a foot in front of me and my lens! What a good boy.

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I’m sure it won’t be long before this pair are out hacking without worrying a jot, he’s a little dude, always appearing to have his own little plan going on. He was trying his hardest to put his best ears forward once he got the idea. Nicky recalled her first time sitting on him when he was old enough, and says it was amazing. It must be a wonderful feeling when you’ve had them from so young! He does have an interesting approach to trot poles though – either balancing on them with his front hooves, or putting in a stop half way over.

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I have to put in a little mention for Darcy, because she was a little sweetheart following us around the woods and waiting patiently for her mum’s attention and some photos of her own! Nicky I hope you love your images, it’s been a pleasure editing them.

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Wendy & Idris – Belstead

You may recognise Wendy as my cover star with her rather handsome cob, Chico. This year we caught up to capture some bluebell magic with her latest addition to the herd; Idris (affectionately known as Idris the Tall) has just turned 3.

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He is an Andalusian x WB x TB, and has now been with Wendy for 18 months. Wendy is teaching him groundwork at the moment which has proven to be rather amusing at times. His favourite trick? Laying down!

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Idris is just about as cool as a cucumber, and just loves to get his face into everything. This includes the feed room, where he has been found a number of times rifling around! Happy to pose, and even behaving in the woods without his headcollar, this quirky young man was a pleasure to work with! He adored being the centre of attention that’s for sure.

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I can’t wait to come back next year to see how he’s progressing and perhaps get some photos of the boys together!

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Meet Elliot

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So, you’ve read about Sarah’s jumping lesson with Sarah Williamson at Back to Balance. Well jumping wasn’t the only thing I travelled out to capture that day.

There’s an adorable thoroughbred foal on the farm, and his name is Elliot. He was 6 weeks old when these photos were taken, and is out with his mum Hallelujah (known as Lulu on the yard). Lulu is by Avonbridge out of the Gallileo mare My Golly. She raced under James Fanshaw and won several races for Hayley Turner. Unfortunately she didn’t take so well to other jockeys and retired to stud soon after Hayley’s retirement.

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This gorgeous leggy bundle is Lulu’s first foal – and she won’t take any nonsense from him! She clearly dotes on him but is happpy to do so at a distance unless someone gets a bit too close. Sarah tells me she has been known to act as though she’s never been touched by a human hand but is easily won over by any offer of food!

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The day we took the photos was the first day Elliot had properly experienced flies – and I don’t think he was too impressed. We feel you, boy!

I could have spent all day watching him in the field. If you have a new addition to your herd, do drop me a message to arrange a photoshoot before they’re all grown up!

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There are a whole host of other animals on the farm – and I couldn’t leave without a couple of shots of the piglets! The farm have a sounder of Large Blacks, a rare Suffolk breed, so it was wonderful to see this scrumptious litter of babies! I just love their little piglet tails!

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Shadow & Poppy

I had the absolute pleasure of shooting at a yard just around the corner from me, and my subject was dear little Shadow. His arrival was very much a surprise, as Ali had only checked with her vet days before that Poppy wasn’t expecting!

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Like many of us horsey folk will know, it can sometimes be a race against the clock before work to get everyone fed, checked, rugged and the rest. This was one of those days for Ali. When Poppy failed to swing her head over the door to say good morning, Ali opened up the stable to investigate; she was greeted by Poppy revealing a tiny little bundle nestled in the back of the box.

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Ali tells me the first 48 hours were touch and go as Shadow was struggling to latch on to feed. He was bottle fed every 2 hours until at 3am the relieving sight of a soggy bottom lip meant that he’d finally worked it out!

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Shadow was born on April 10th and was a mere 2 weeks old in these images. He’s the tiniest little foal I’ve ever seen, but already has bundles of character! Both mum and baby were so well mannered, and an absolute credit to Ali, they’re obviously very happy! Mum came over to check me and my camera out and once she was happy I wasn’t a threat, she left me to it. Ali hasn’t had Poppy for too long, so Shadow was a real BOGOF, and even her old owner was shocked to hear about the new arrival. Ali works as a carer, and uses her time at the yard to wind down and relax. She loves nothing more than a quiet hack out around the countryside, and who can blame her? It’s glorious, isn’t it?

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I got sucked into baby foaly cuddles, and loved every minute. Shadow is going to be a confident little thing I’m sure! He loved playing with his post in the middle of the field, and we managed to capture some of his speed bursts around the paddock too. I hope I can pop back and see his progress again soon, he’s an absolute poppet. It was all very exciting for him, and I left him having a quiet snooze in the sunshine!

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BSPS Area 16 Spring Show

Telephones. I can’t tell you any good reason for it, but I’m not their biggest fan! So when I returned a call for help from Lauren earlier in the week it was with a little trepidation.

As a portrait photographer, I capture moments between horse and owner, and although I’ve dabbled in showing photos for friends, it’s all a bit different for me. So I was free this Saturday, and decided a change of pace would be a great idea – BSPS Area 16 here I come!

I’m so glad I said yes to doing this. Despite the sunburn (yep – bright red!) and a mega long day of shooting, it was a fab experience. I can’t stop myself from grinning when I’m surrounded by horses and ponies, so everyone must have thought the cheshire cat was on the loose!

Speaking to judges, hearing their feedback, and gaining an insight of what goes into choosing a winner – it was all super interesting, and made the running up and down between 5 rings worthwhile.

I will apologise now to anybody who we did not get photographs of on the day. Sam Duncan kindly stepped in as my second shooter on the day so that we could capture as much as possible, but some classes were missed. If you are interested in having some photos with your horse, please do contact me to discuss a photoshoot! The bluebells and blossoms are out, so it’s the perfect time of year for it. 

I adored watching the lead rein and first ridden classes; I was pleasantly surprised how lovely the judges were. Every communication was intended as a positive, and the judges encouraged them throughout every class. It’s really made me want to take Eliza out when she’s old enough. Sam – I will be keeping in touch about that pony in a couple of years!

The reserve supreme champion Zeraphina was the sweetest little girl, on lead-rein, and I was so glad when they called her in! We got a super image of her and Thistledown Lorenzo next to the Supreme Champion Lord John who was, let’s say, a tad bigger than her dear little pony. I was made up for her after all of the effort of the day (and it was a long day – they were up at 4am in order to get to the show!)

It’s certainly been a learning curve, and the editing took a little longer than expected (you lovely lot take some great shots!) but I have had a blast. Thank you BSPS Area 16 for having me; once again an extra special thank you to Sam Duncan for your support on the day.

All images are published at www.laurafiddamanphoto.com/events – if you find any images that are in the wrong ring, please let me know so that I can correct them! If you wish to purchase any images, 50p for every digital or print sold will be donated to Sam’s choice of charity, Greyhound Gap as a thank you for her assistance.

I will leave you with our Supreme Champion and Reserve! How blinking cute?!

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Poplar Park ODE Part 1

Earlier in March I had a wonderful afternoon out walking the course at Poplar Park with friends for the first of their one day events of 2017. It goes without saying (there were horses around…) that my camera accompanied me for the trip!

The weather forecast was for showers, but it turned out to be a pleasant afternoon, and ideal going for the day’s event. After a quick pit stop for a tasty cheese and pickle toastie from the toastie truck (best thing ever!) we had a quick browse round the stalls and watched the showjumping ring, waiting for the scary-big cross country rounds to begin.

Approximately one nutella pancake later (are you sensing a food-based theme here?) we headed out on course and had a great time. There’s plenty of talent coming up through the ranks, and we even had the pleasure of catching Pippa’s rounds on the two Billy’s & Sandman 7!

It was great to be able to get some photos of the day, so if there’s anyone here you know, please feel free to share this post so that they can see them!


Bookings now being taken for Spring/Summer 2017 – limited dates available for April/May

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Amelia, Jo, Bailey & Brandy – Baylham

On a cool overcast afternoon I met Amelia and her mum to capture some photos of them together with Amelia’s boys. We were lucky to get the shoot in before the weather started to turn cold and wet again last week!

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Bailey, more mysteriously known as Dark Echo, is a 7 year old connemara cross thoroughbred, and can be a bit of a sensitive soul. He has been with Amelia for a couple of years now, and has come such a long way. They have had their leg waving moments, but after investing lots of time and patience, it is certainly now paying off. He stood like a true gentleman and posed beautifully in front of the camera for us.

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They can often be found enjoying the countryside together after recently moving yards to make the most of the hacking! Amelia tells me he also loves a good jumping session, and although they are only jumping small at the moment, she has big plans to take him out cross country schooling this year. It sounds like great fun is on the cards for this pair.

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Also popping into the action at the end of the shoot was Brandy, Amelia’s adorable pony who came down from the New Forest 5 years ago. He’s been in the family for over 20 years, and has the most wonderful cheeky character. At 25 years young, he has enough sass to put some of the younger horses to shame! He has done a bit of everything, and brought Amelia up through the ranks when she was younger, including being a driving pony. He now lives a quieter life (hooning around the field with Bailey to blow away any cobwebs!)

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It was a pleasure capturing your images with your mum and your boys Amelia, thank you!

Bookings now being taken for Spring/Summer 2017

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