THE FLAT RACE :-
The average duration of an 8 furlong (one mile) flat race is a mere 96 seconds.......
Short enough that you could hold your breath from start to finish - and of course, many often do !
96 tiny seconds that can make history or break a record.......make dreams come true or break a heart !
The average speed of my camera's shutter when capturing a frame during a race is 1/2000th of a second.......
Short enough that I can hold my breath from start to finish - and of course, I often do !
1/2000th of a single second.......sufficient time, providing the Gods of The Lens are smiling fair
To capture and record in eternity some of the most dramatic and thrilling tableaux in all sport.
The images on this website are tiny fragments of time.......moments captured in much less than the blink of an eye.......
Meagre threads in a tapestry of coloured silks and Carnival, which has enshrouded the Globe for centuries.......0.0005 seconds at a time.......
Enjoy the site even half as much as I've enjoyed creating it, and all will be well !
THE STEEPLE CHASE :-
Ireland, 1772, on a damp spring day where Cornelius O'Callaghan and Edmund Blake settled a wager - the first to cover 4 miles between two churches being declared the winner. They could never imagined that on that very morning, they were sowing the seeds for what would thereafter become known as The Sport of Kings.
A beautiful synergy concocted from the raw power and speed of the flat race and blended with the deft grace and timing of the cross-country which, when executed perfectly, is akin, put quite simply, to a rider having wings !
Imagine for a second, jockeying your way through a bustling crowd, along a rush-hour pavement.......the switch-step, side-winding dance we all do from day to day.......imagine how often we bump shoulders or have to yield to on coming foot-traffic in order just to remain upright and on the right track.......all at around 2.5 miles per hour !
Now imagine doing the same dance at 30 miles per hour, whilst balancing 6 feet in the air on the balls of your feet and taking off every 30 or so strides to soar more than 11 feet from the ground for a distance of 18 feet before landing at the same 30 miles per hour on the balls of your feet - without ever breaking your stride.......such is the life of the Jump-Jockey !
My collection of Images is an attempt at paying homage to some of the bravest, most skilful sportsmen and sportswomen in the world and their magnificent mounts.......
These are my offerings to these superb animals.......those wingless, wide-eyed and wonderful modern-day dragons at whom we can simply stare in utter awe and admiration.......
Welcome to the world of The Steeple Chase ! - Mick Atkins