Earlier in the summer Jackie won a prize in a national competition run in conjunction with Georgia House Racing, Handwoven Browbands and myself. Jackie’s prize was a photo shoot with me and I was delighted to recently head off into Dorset to meet her and her fabulous black Welsh gelding, Monty…
Monty is kept at Moreton Equestrian Centre, a beautiful and busy competition centre thats positioned in a very typical chocolate box area between Dorchester and Wareham. An area thats very rich on history too, more of that later… Whilst Jackie doesn’t have aspirations to join the next Team GB slot, yet, she does love to do some unaffiliated events and with Moreton EC supplying a huge number of competitions every year, across just about all disciplines, she doesn’t have to leave her yard to hunt down some scores and rosettes. In fact she sold her lorry once she settled in. Set within the grounds of an ancient estate, Moreton came over as a really friendly place to be. All the staff I met were incredibly lovely, stopped for a chat and had a real affection for the horses in their daily care and an interest in everyone on the yard.
Jackie and Monty haven’t actually been on this yard all that long. Jackie recently moved from Somerset to this idyllic area and took her time in moving Monty down with her. Preferring to have an incredibly long day of driving to and fro home, work and Monty’s previous yard until she found just the right place to move him too. As we know, its never an easy situation to be in and he’d been on his previous lovely, small yard, for a very long time. However it’s clear Jackie chose well with the new yard and they are clearly making the most of the facilities on site and hacking in the area, both seemed very relaxed to be where they are.
Monty is stunning, such a handsome, strong Welsh chap. He’s 16 now and Jackie has had him since he was 6 and over the last 10 years they’ve built a relationship that really works for the pair of them. It’s clear that Jackie knows all his habits inside out and although he’s a very cheeky monkey at times, she forgives him because, well, he’s her Monty! To be honest, when he gives you his soft look I think you’d forgiven him anything…
We took Monty off the yard and down through the village into the beautiful private grounds of the estate within which stands a truly magnificent church which is the final resting place of the great TE Lawrence, or Lawrence of Arabia as he was more commonly referred to. The church really is very lovely, architecturally very different to most churches with some wonderful creative windows and as a result of both this and the TE Lawrence connection, it attracts a large number of visitors and that day was no exception. In fact Monty was far more interested in the ramblers and tourists that he was anything Jackie or I were up to or asking of him. Distracted you might say. In fact thats a word common to many of his dressage test remarks laughed Jackie!
The wind picked up as we moved around the estate and attempted to get Monty’s focus away from potential picnic opportunities with the ramblers, Jackie laughed at her lovely boy all the time as he swiftly moved his focus from one place to another or the wind got under his mane or tail. He has a massive character and he’s not afraid to show it either – a proper boy!
Leaving the grounds of the estate we headed out to a favourite ford in the area for a bit of a play in the water to end our time together. They merrily wandered through the waters, which I’m told you can swim your horses in just a little further down if you feeling brave enough. Today though they were happy to just stand in the sunshine, relax and take in the atmosphere of the morning.
Huge thanks to Jackie for entering this huge competition earlier in the summer and being just fabulous from start to finish. I had a wonderful time on this shoot, Thanks also, of course, to both the wonderful Joey from Georgia House Racing and Laura from Handwoven Browbands for putting the competition together for everyone in the first place.
Have a fabulous day!
If you’d like your own personal equine photo shoot, then please do contact me here to chat about your options more…