Camilla, her horses and a collaborative project

May 29, 2019

Last week was certainly one of highs and lows, but putting the not so good bits to one side, the highlight of the week was a trip to High Wycombe to photograph Camilla Bingham and her gorgeous show jumpers.

I’m a big fan of collaborative projects. Following a conversation earlier in the year with Jess Crofts, co-founder and director of Stride Management, which has recently taken Camilla on as a client, we hatched a plan to go to Puttenham Place to photograph Camilla with her horses in a non-competition environment for her new website. And what fun I had.

Camilla initially evented before changing her focus in 2010 to show jumping. Following graduation from Hartpury in 2011, she took over the running of the farm, producing and competing a small string of very precious horses. Camilla now competes across the UK and Europe at a variety of heights depending on the competition and which horse she is riding. Most recently she has returned from Valkenswaard in the Netherlands with two of her horses – Fleurie and Felix.

The start of my day was a busy one, ensuring all the admin was sorted before setting off for a trip around the M25. The traffic wasn’t as horrendous as it might have been, but I’m still glad I left myself more than enough time to make the journey – I needed every minute of it!

Such a lovely setting and welcome from the team, I went on to meet the equine models. They were all so chilled – let me introduce them:

  1. Billy Drizzle – 13 – grey gelding – known predominantly as Drizzle
  2. Cassini II – 12 – grey gelding – Timmy to his mates
  3. Billy Belle – 12 – bay mare – Belle
  4. Feliano B – 9 – grey gelding– more often referred to as Felix
  5. Sportsfield Fleurie – 9 bay mare – just Fleurie
  6. Cambridge II – 6 – bay gelding – Cambridge

Impossible to pick a favourite as they all had such fun and totally individual characters; each had their own relationship with Camilla as well as yard manager Bill. Both mares were very gentle, but perhaps the stand-out character for me was Drizzle! As soon as he spotted the camera, whether in his stable, in hand or ridden, he posed constantly. If he missed the first shutter click, he certainly didn’t miss the next one – no encouragement needed for his ears to be forward!

Close to the end of the day, as I was about to go home, Camilla realised that her ‘baby’ Cambridge hadn’t actually been in front of the camera at all! Tucked away in his own little space, Cambridge is Puttenham Place’s first home bred out of Camilla’s original competition mare Wembley II. Although very much at the beginning of his career, Cambridge’s adoration of Camilla is clear to see. He’s still got some growing up to do and will soon be joined by another youngster as Wembley is due to have another foal very shortly.

A big thank you to Jess and the Puttenham Place team for allowing me to record a little of their history.