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: Shane Rose
Event: The 2022 FEI Eventing World Championships, where Shane and Virgil came 14th, the highest placed Australian combination.
Location: Pratoni, Italy.
Camera Type/Settings: Canon 1DX II 300mm Lens ISO 200 f 2.8 1/800 sec.
The hardest part of capturing this image was being in the right spot around the arena. Because this was such a huge event there were hundreds of spectators and almost as many photographers. I had to capture dressage action shots of Shane for my work, but I also knew that Shane always gives his horses a wonderful hug and ear rub when he is done with his round or test – and I needed to be in the right spot at the end of the test to capture that. This day he did not disappoint!
Why this shot is special
To me, this photo says so much about Shane and his love for Virgil. Shane is a wonderful horseman as well as an experienced and dependable competitor. He admits that the relationship he has with Virgil is special and the love he has for the horse is plain to see. Their test was in Shane’s words “the best we could do,” so he was clearly very happy and that shines through in the photo.
In fact, his love for Virgil became a topic of conversation in the media room. Many of the photographers commented on the emotion Shane shows his horse and how much they loved it! This image has always been special to me and I recently had a large print made and framed to donate to the Adelaide Equestrian Festival’s auction. Shane came in to sign it and became quite emotional as he spoke of his ‘Virg’.
One of the nicest parts of this story is that Niki, Shane’s wife, purchased the photo and I’m thrilled to think Shane can enjoy it every day at home, and be reminded of all he and Virgil have achieved together.