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Behind the Shot: Andrew Hoy

Andrew Hoy (Aus) on Vassily de Lassos
Andrew Hoy (Aus) on Vassily de Lassos

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

Rider: Andrew Hoy (Aus) 

Horse: Vassily de Lassos 

Event: 2022 FEI World Eventing Championships  

Location: Pratoni, Italy 

Camera & Settings: Canon 1DX II 300mm Lens ISO 400 f 2.8 1/1000 sec 


The most difficult part of capturing Andrew Hoy, or any other rider after they compete at a big event, is that once out of the arena the first few minutes are literally chaos behind the scenes, especially if it’s been a great performance! They are surrounded by grooms, officials, owners, support crew, family and the media, so it is often hard to grab a quiet moment with a clear view of the horse and/or rider.  

Being patient and waiting for everyone to move away, being far enough away myself to give them space, and yet still to be close enough to see their faces and capture their emotions, that’s all part of the challenge. The day was warm but overcast and so technically it wasn’t a difficult shot in terms of light, but it just had to be the right moment. 

Why this shot is special:  

This image captures a sweet moment between Andrew and Vassily, the Anglo Arab gelding owned by Paula and David Evans and affectionately known as the Ginger Unicorn, after their dressage test.  

Because they have scores to check or interviews to give after they’ve competed, some riders just walk away from their horses leaving them in the care of their grooms. But other riders, and I always think of them as the special ones, spend time saying thank you to their horse with a hug, a pat, or a treat. 

In this capture, Vassily was being given a rub on the nose (from his owner Paula, if I’m not mistaken) and Clémentine Girardeau, his groom, has hold of his reins. But Andrew is enjoying a thank you treat with him. Just a small moment in time but to me it says so much about one of our legendary Aussie equestrians.   

Michelle is available for event, commercial, and private shoots. Visit Michelle Terlato Photography to view her impressive portfolio.