Cameraman based in Edinburgh, employed by ITN, working for ITV's Good Morning Britain covering stories all over the UK and the world. War Zones, World Cups, Royal Tours and many other less exciting assignments, like interviewing current and ex Prime Ministers have kept me busy over the years working in Breakfast Television since GMTV came on the scene back in '93 and regional TV before that. In 2009 I began to record what it is like to work, the often strange and long hours needed to bring the hard news, human interest and fluffy fun to the UK's TV screens in the morning, mostly broadcasting live.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Gymnastics on a horse!

Thursday 23rd

A night in a hotel with the luxury of not having to lever myself out of bed when it appears that most of the rest of the civilised world has just slipped under their warm fluffy quilts is always good.

There was no great rush to get back south. The job that we had been sent on in Clackmannanshire would not start until the very late afternoon.

So with the weather very much improved over yesterday Gregg and I enjoyed the drive back down the A9.

It was to another farm we were heading for today's assignment but the story was somewhat removed from dead animals adorning the groin area of kilted Scotsmen.

Young women and ponies always conjure up all sorts of visions for lots of hot bloodied men. When you add in gymnastics it goes off the scale.

That was what was going on on this particular farm.

It is called Equine Vaulting.

The two girls we were about to film with were about to go off to the world championships in Cincinnati.

John, Joanne and Hannah’s dad and coach, showed us in to the farm kitchen where the girls made us a cup of tea and showed us ignorant pair, a video of what this vaulting lark was all about.

It is to say the least impressive. Individuals and teams doing all sorts of heart stopping gymnastic antics on a horse that is cantering in a wide circle.

We then went into the large barn where the horses are kept and the training is done.

After warming up Joanne and Hannah then proceeded to show their skills.

It was a very exciting display. The only thing from the point of view of filming was that the barn was not all that well lit either with artificial light or daylight.

There were very yellowy red sodium lights hanging from the roof and daylight filtering in from around a few gaps in the walls as well as sky lights in the roof.

It was far too big a space to be able to light with my small lighting kit so I would just have to go with it.

Even blurred it looks spectacular.

I filmed them from various angles and we did an interview with John.

Joanne and Hannah on Henry with dad holding the reins.

The request from the producers of Daybreak was that the interview with the girls be done with both of them and Gregg to be on horseback.

Gregg mounted up given a helping hand by John and the girls leapt up on to Henry, their horse.

I got John to manoeuvre them into position. I scrambled up on to my mount. It was a horse but of the vaulting kind.

The interview set up.

Once we had done that little interview the job was done.

Our hosts were quite keen that we have a short ride on on of the horses.

Gregg was first, and despite his self confessed slight fear if horses he enjoyed his short ride, as did I.

Gregg ready to ride.

Gregg at the canter.

My turn with Hannah at the reins.

John, Henry, Joanne and Hannah.

Although the girls and Henry the horse were flying out to Cincinnati they would be on different flights.

Next time I am on a flight I am going to try the “well it was OK as hand baggage for my horse!”

A horse's hand baggage.

I hope they do well and come back with medals.

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