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The "National" at Spruce Meadows [Jun. 28th, 2016|06:06 am]
Purple Pony Art
Finally I have something for horse_photos. The truth is that I don't get out with my camera as much as I should. I have started to carry it more with me, but it's still difficult to find my preferred subject matter. At least I can always count on seeing horses when I go to Spruce Meadows and I'm still wowed by my latest round of photos from there. If you don't know what Spruce Meadows is, it's a a magical place in Alberta. Now, Alberta is full of magical places, but if you love horses, Spruce Meadows is a wonderous land where sport and family meet!

When I was a little girl living in Edmonton, I used to dutifully collect the free admission passes that came with the gas bill in hopes that some day my family would make the three hour trek to Calgary. That never happened - it was only until I moved here that I was able to indulge in Spruce Meadows and I loved every minute of it. Every visit, decades later, reminds me of my youthful enthusiasm for horses.

It's easy to forget that houses are right across the road from it now - but it still maintains its country charm. And here's the best part - there really is something for everyone at Spruce Meadows, from live music, delicious food, usually a car show or dog agility.

Spruce Meadows celebrated its 40th anniversary last year and this lasting gift from the Southern family always fills my heart with pride. Red Arrow kindly provides a free shuttle service so that the park is accessible to everyone and admission is free, although some day I am going to splurge

I couldn't have asked for a more picture perfect day when I went for the Continental on June 11th. It was sunny and cool and I marvelled at all the recent upgrades. It's been a couple of years since my last visit. The old bleacher seating at the Chinook Ring has been replaced with a fancy new Founder's Plaza with tables and chairs.

I was super excited this day because I borrowed a 200 mm zoom lens. For those of you who have never held one, it's about as long as your forearm and weighs about a pound or two. It was really hefty! I found a primo space for the event going on and tested it out. I was so nervous because of the borrowed lens that I forgot to make the most of the zoom! I had all sorts of dumb fears that it would fall off my camera or that I would drop it :D Regrettably the photos from the first event I went to were mostly blurry and not very usable.

Fortunately by the time we found seating in the International Ring I had a handle on it and I was thrilled with the results, as you can see in this sample on Flickr. I can't wait to go again in July for the "North American" tournament.


[User Picture]From: seewildflowers
2016-06-28 12:55 pm (UTC)
I've never been to Spruce Meadows, but I've definitely heard of it! :) I'm so glad you get to enjoy it! This photo is incredible!!! :)
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[User Picture]From: purpleponyart
2016-06-29 12:11 pm (UTC)
If you ever come to Alberta, be sure to book it around Spruce Meadows events. There are three or four big events in the summer. June is pretty rainy here, so July and August are safe bets.

I couldn't believe I was able to capture this photo. There were 8 really good ones that I posted on Flickr. I took over 500 photos, so still going through them all :-)
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