Interview: Behind the Camera with Ashley Neuhof

2019. Aachen CHIO 5 Interview Ashley Neuhof RGS Kim Beaudoin

What attributes does it take to be a professional photographer in Equestrian sport?

With any good sports photography, I think one of the most important things is to be able to anticipate moments. When you are dealing with an atmosphere as big as Aachen, I think it’s even more vital because you are not only trying to capture the sporting action, you are trying to capture the crowds and the atmosphere. You always have to be three or four steps ahead of the action – sometimes you’re there, sometimes you’re not, but I always try and make sure I can easily get from one place to the next to photograph the event in as many different ways as possible.

What is CHIO Aachen like to photograph?

There are very few words I can think of to describe Aachen, it’s just magical. There is no other place in the world that captures this level of the sport. It has such an educated crowd that knows the sport and as a photographer that’s really special because you feel all of the energy behind you. Everywhere you look there are crowds, there’s cheering, there is so much emotion and that’s what really drives me as a photographer – it’s a real adrenaline rush and the moments here are like no where else in the world.

Do you feel extra pressure when photographing a Rolex Grand Prix at one of the four Rolex Majors?

Absolutely, the Rolex Grands Prix always give me the biggest adrenaline rush. It is nerve racking as you only get one shot, the moments don’t happen the same way twice. There is that one split second where you get that fist pump, the reaction of the crowd or the emotion from the team behind the horse, so you can’t miss it!

Which is your favourite horse and rider combination to photograph?

That’s a tough question! The horse and rider combinations that I really love to photograph are the ones where you can really tell that there is a truly special relationship between them. I think all riders who compete at this level have a huge respect and understanding of their horses and I really love to photograph that.

Source: Press release from Rolex Grand Slam

Photo: © Rolex / Kim Beaudoin