Earlier this year I was lucky enough to spend a few mornings on the beach with the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, photographing and filming their summer ride-outs on Holkham beach, just down the road from me here in North Norfolk.
When I was contacted by a press agency asking if I would be interested in doing something similar for The King’s Troop I jumped at the chance. I wasn’t sure how much press interest there would be since we had pretty good exposure with the HMRC (my doubts were proved unfounded!) but I love any opportunity to photograph the spectacle of royal horses riding through the surf so I booked out two mornings in my diary.
To ensure that the ride was as safe as possible the times & dates of the ride were not published since the visits to the beach are a serious training exercise, when it is covered in crowds of people it endangers the public, the riders and the horses (to a degree). When one of the riders gets thrown and the horse bolts back to the shore at full speed, straight towards you, it’s a pretty scary sight I can tell you!
On the first morning (Wednesday) I arrived at 7am, we had permission from the Holkham Estate to fly a drone that morning only so I made the most of it capturing aerial video and stills.
On Thursday morning I headed back to get some more ground-based stills & video. Their final beach ride of the year was on Friday, BBC Breakfast were scheduled to come along & do a live broadcast from the beach so I gave it a miss, happy that I had got what I needed. I didn’t want to get in the way.
Sadly there was a press embargo until late Friday morning (to ensure that the riders could have unencumbered rides on all three days). I was the only photographer on the beach on Wednesday and would have had the scoop for all the nationals had I been allowed to put out the shots that day but I totally respect their decision not to allow the word to get out and held back. Sadly (for me!) on Thursday two Press Association photographers were there getting shots also so I didn’t have the monopoly on shots as I’d hoped but as you will see at the bottom of this post we still got some pretty good national media coverage.
The short film I made of the rides is here…
As mentioned earlier the press interest once again has been good. BBC Look East produced a video from my footage which at the time of writing has had 275,000 views on Facebook alone, it was on BBC Look East last night and the video was on the front page of the BBC National News homepage. Today’s press has been good too with photos in The Guardian, The Telegraph and a double page spread in the Daily Express. It seems I’m not the only one who can’t get enough of royal horses on the beach!
I think that’s pretty much all the beach-horse action I’ll see for the rest of this year now but I’ll be back next summer to do it all again!
Many thanks to The Kings Troop, BBC Look East, Apex News, Holkham Estate and Norfolk Locations.