Leaving Tanqueray behind I started back through the Mallory Building toward the Coliseum. I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do next. The schedule was broken down by building and time and there was something going on every minute.
As I passed through the building I passed another ring. This one had the dirt floor and the horses were being ridden in this ring. This was a breed demonstration. I wish I could tell you which breed but I missed the announcement. The show was well underway when I stepped up to the fence. I stayed on the short end so I wouldn’t block anyone’s view. The bleacher seats were along the long sides. Several others stood by me. As I was snapping away one of horses came trotting toward me. I expected it to make the turn like the rest of the riders were doing but it came straight at me, bumped the fence and stuck it’s head right up against me! I know my mouth hit the floor. I looked at the rider with my mouth hanging open. She just shrugged and said “I guess he likes you”. I admit I was shocked both by the horse’s reaction to me and by the rider’s lack of control. But that was nothing compared to what was about to happen next.
Horse and rider back on track I went back to trying to get the exposure right in the low lighting. People were using flash but I was reluctant to try that. I was concerned about startling the horses. Clearly the riders in this ring were not the most experienced. Just as that thought was crossing my mind a flash went off right by the fence. A woman with a ton of camera gear was set up about half way down the long side. As soon as her camera flashed the horse nearest to her shied badly slamming into another horse and rider about to pass them.
Those two bounced toward the center of the ring blocking two more horses. These animals weren’t traveling at a walk. I had visions of a horse pile up like cars on the expressway. For a few moments the ring was in turmoil but eventually the riders got their mounts under control and it was back to circling the ring. The woman with her flash had disappeared. She probably got better pictures than I did but at least I can’t be blamed for causing a possible serious accident.
It seemed like a good time to move on.