The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

James Ewart Racing

The November issue of Dumfries and Galloway Life magazine hit the shelves today. It has a special business supplement magazine, which is running a feature on James Ewart Racing - and it includes one of my images on the front cover.

James Ewart Racing is a racehorse training facility set in the beautiful hills near the Scottish Borders town of Langholm.

I met James Ewart himself at a networking event back in early summer and he invited me out to Craig Farm to see the place, which I did a few weeks later when running my son back from Edinburgh after his exams. Suddenly a whole new parallel universe opened up to me.

My equine experience up to this point had been pretty limited, but now I became aware of a entire world where people live, breathe and dream horses - more specifically, racehorses. The attention and detail going into their care and training is nothing short of mesmerising. He has an impressive set up with around 50 horses in the stables, and facilities that include a 5½ furlong (about a kilometer) long racetrack a meter deep in sand for resistance training.

Needless to say it wasn't long before we started discussing photography. The vast majority of racehorse photos tend to be at the races with jockeys in full colours and crowds of excited viewers, but for those whose lives are enriched by them, there is precious little in the way of "behind the scenes" images.

I was invited back with my camera where I took a selection of images of 4 specific horses, including horse portraits, training on the track and washing down afterwards. These photos have now been put into a website where prints can be bought in various sizes and formats - - a selection of which I've included below.

If all goes to plan, more photos out at Craig Farm should be forthcoming.

This one is my personal favourite


Theanne Crossett said...

I've totally overused the word "love" I need to use new words for your equine photos. The black and white have blown me away. I'm always impressed with your photography and the fact that you're always open to new directions.

Pat said...

How super to be invited into the horsey world. It is fascinating. My house in Epsom - some years ago - backed onto the garden of a jockey 'over the sticks' and we became friends.
I've always been dotty about horses - fond memories of Bridie - a Welsh cob. I've already told you how great I think the photos are - especially the B/W one.
Was your heart in your mouth when you took the cover? Standing at the rail can be quite terrifying.

Guyana-Gyal said...

You take us into a delightful world, Kim. I bet you have fun.

The 2 black and white pics are my favourite.

And now, I bet you have more people in the animal world calling you up.

Oh, one question, what do you do with the photos you don't use? Do you keep them to use them one day?

Kim Ayres said...

Theanne - thank you - it was fun going in a completely new direction to my usual photography :)

Pat - it was quite exciting to be up close as the horses went past, although mostly I was thinking, "should I have the other lens on?" ;)

Guyana-Gyal - at any photo shoot I take far more than I will use. I then sift through them and delete the out of focus ones, the ones where the head was cut off at the wrong place, or the ones which are just really dull. The I do a 2nd sweep and put the ones I think have potential into a separate folder. Then I do a 3rd sweep and pick out the ones that stand out, and those are the ones I will then edit and fine-tune.

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