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Old 13th March 2009
Dick Bowman Dick Bowman is offline
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Is Horseracing Photographer-friendly?

Horseracing has long struck me as an interesting photographic possibility.

Bright colours, and the chance to exercise/develop your moving-target skills.

But the big question is whether they let the public roam around the course. Because I don't find the motion of being coralled into crowded enclosures which are channelled toward betting/drinking/whatever at all enticing. I'd like to get myself into places like near the starting gates and/or fences.

Anyone have any knowledge?
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Old 13th March 2009
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Naughty Nigel Naughty Nigel is offline
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Re: Is Horseracing Photographer-friendly?

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Originally Posted by Dick Bowman View Post
Horseracing has long struck me as an interesting photographic possibility.

Bright colours, and the chance to exercise/develop your moving-target skills.

But the big question is whether they let the public roam around the course. Because I don't find the motion of being coralled into crowded enclosures which are channelled toward betting/drinking/whatever at all enticing. I'd like to get myself into places like near the starting gates and/or fences.

Anyone have any knowledge?
Well, I’m told that if you go to the Cheltenham Gold Cup there is never any shortage of Priests ready to take your confessions.

Seriously though, I think it depends on the course. I would avoid the big events, and perhaps try your luck at some smaller, less well known courses first. If you enjoy it, and get good results, maybe you could apply for a pass at the big name courses.

Thinking of our own local course, there are several places where you could take excellent photographs without even paying to go in, so it might be worth doing a recce before race day?

I don't know whether horses do practice or qualifying laps, but it could be a good opportunity for checking out the racing line, as I gather they only go round once, or twice at most during the races themselves.

The starting grid itself is probably the most difficult to see, but if it is a long course you should be able to see some interesting jumps and fast bends from outside of the course itself. Having said that, I always prefer to be on the inside of bends myself.
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Old 13th March 2009
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Re: Is Horseracing Photographer-friendly?

I did a photojournalism course four years ago in which I photographed horse racing at Catterick and at Wetherby.

At Catterick the class went as a group and we got passes to go to any part of the course, including a good viewpoint on top of a building near the finishing line. The Catterick people were extremely helpful in every way.

At Wetherby, I went on my own as a member of the public. The main stands are on the outside of the oval track, but I took the cheaper option of going on the inside of the track which meant that you could roam around any part of the track and could take pictures near the finishing line with the stands in the background.

All the tracks have their own rules so I would suggest telephoning them beforehand to find out where you can go and what you can do.

Hope this helps,

Peter J
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