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Behind The Shot

Behind The Shot


One of Australia’s top equestrian photographers, MICHELLE TERLATO travels the world capturing equestrian athletes in action. Each month she shares one of her favourite shots.


Rider: Charlotte (Lottie) Fry

Horse: Glamourdale

Event: 2022 FEI World Championships Grand Prix Freestyle to Music

Location: Herning, Denmark

Camera & Settings: Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, Canon EF 300mm, f/2.8, ISO 800, 1/1000 sec

Challenges: I was concerned that the combination of night time and a black stallion were not ideal when taking a shot that would likely need a fast shutter speed. Fortunately, Lottie was one of the last to compete at close to midnight, so I had been in the area for a while and was able to gauge the camera settings I’d need. Also, with freestyle tests you do not know the movements or where they will be executed, so where to stand becomes a little bit of an educated guess! I made sure I was as close as I could be to the edge of the arena and used my 300mm lens to get even closer.

As it turned out it wasn’t an issue as the lighting in the stadium was brilliant for competitors and the media, and I had no problems at all. The images almost look as if it was daylight and despite the ISO set at 800, they are sharp and clear, showing grains of flying sand and dribbles of foam and sweat.

­­Why this shot is special: This photo is one of a series I took during Lottie and Glamourdale’s freestyle test. I actually love them all, and it was hard to choose just one! It’s special to me because there was such electricity in the arena with 11,000 spectators, much excitement, and great anticipation. God Save the Queen got us underway as the pair passaged to halt, then it was off again in perfect synchronicity with Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust, by which time everyone was mesmerised.

The stallion is magnificent and was ridden to perfection by Lottie who held her nerve until the applause. She said she had fun and so did ‘Glammy’ and it showed with a whopping score of 90.654% and a total of twenty-four 10s. Glamourdale is known for his canter and I feel this image captures that movement; the propulsion, the strength and all of the atmosphere that was the World Championships Dressage Freestyle to Music. I know I witnessed something special! And if you haven’t already, be sure to watch Charlotte and Glamourdale’s winning test.