Stella Stud has been very fortunate to meet and work with former international rider and professional equine photographer, Sue Crockett.
Sue has an incredible gift for taking breathtaking photos of people, animals and landscapes. Being a talented horsewoman, she has an inner knowing of how to time a camera perfectly with the footfalls of a horse, resulting in high quality images that leave the viewer spellbound.
Sue Crockett was brought up on a farm in England and regularly went Fox Hunting, as well as to Pony Club.
During the years 1966-1968, she rode in many 3-mile Point-to-Points in England.
In 1967, Sue won the prestigious 3-mile Steeplechase at Hackwood Park, Hampshire, England in a mixed field of riders (including men). In fact, she was the only female rider in the event, as this was the first year that women were allowed to ride against the men in Point to Points (photo below).
Sue Crockett and Morning Air at a Point to Point in England 1967. Photo credit: N. Christina Dalwood.
Morning Air was a super athlete who stood at 16.3 hands. Sue commented that “My sister and I had the devil of a job saddling him up for the race against the men. He had to carry the massive weight of 12 stone 7lbs and I only weighed 8 stone. I had a borrowed weighted 2 stone saddle and the rest in a lead bag. Trying to secure it to take the forces on the tight bends without the saddle slipping was a challenge. We stood each side of him with a small tin drum each to stand up to manoeuvre the whole lot into the right spot. I then had to get the steward at the start to tighten it again! He was a great schoolmaster and jumper – safe as houses over those big fences.”
A decade passed and, now based in Australia, Sue and her husband Toby purchased a 4,000-acre sheep and cattle property named ‘Uloola’ near Ellerston in the Hunter Valley. From 1976-1982, Sue mustered their livestock on horseback.
Her passion for riding continued and, for the next seventeen years from 1983 to 2010, Sue competed in numerous endurance events, including being placed 3rd in the Lightweight category in the 1984 Tom Quilty on her stock horse named ‘Rocky’. Sue also completed two further Tom Quilty events in 1994 and 2004.
In 1984, Sue and her horse Rocky won the National and Queensland Lightweight Endurance Point Scores.
Her international experience as a rider included winning a Team Bronze medal in 2002 in Jerez, Spain, on Peter Toft’s horse ‘Jonah’.
Australian Endurance Team, WEG 2002 Spain. Photo credit: Pat Slater.
The riders are (from left to right) – Terry Wood (NSW), Sue Crockett (Qld), Penny Toft (Qld), Jan Tyrrell (Qld), Kristie McGaffin (Vic) and Meg Wade (Vic).
As a photographer, Sue held Pat Slater in high regard, commenting that “she was the Queen Bee of Arabian photographers and writers – the one we all aspired to. She was the editor of the Vink Publishing ‘Australian Arabian Horse News’ for many years. Her photography and writing was second to none. Sadly she passed away from cancer shortly after this. Pat was so tough and insisted on coming over to photograph the event, never complaining. She was an amazing and extremely talented woman in so many ways. She used to do all the writing in Steve Parishes books up until she became ill. Her husband Peter Slater is a famous Australian bird painter.”
Throughout her very exciting riding career, Sue’s passion for equine photography grew from strength to strength. Following is a brief overview of international events where Sue has been invited to capture magic moments on film as a photographer.
• World Equestrian Games, The Hague, Netherlands, 1994
• Salon du Cheval Arabian Championships, Paris, France 1998
• World Endurance Championship, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 1998
• Worlds Most Preferred Endurance Ride, United Arab Emirates 1999
• World Endurance Championship, Compiegne, France 2000
• First Merdeke Endurance Ride, Borneo, Malaysia 2000
• World Endurance Championship, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2004
• FEI Endurance New Zealand 2004.
• The Tevis Cup, California, USA in 2007 and 2009. Positioned at the famous ‘Cougar Rock’.
• FEI World Junior Endurance Championships, Abu Dhabi, UAE 2011
• FEI South Island Endurance Championships, New Zealand 2015
The above photo was taken by Sue Crockett at the 2009 Tevis Cup at the famous Cougar Rock in California, USA. The Australian rider is Duncan McLaughlin aboard an American horse. This team completed the race well.
The portrait at the top of the page was taken by Sue’s husband, Toby Crockett. Sue is pictured here with her beloved Arabian mare Alamo Minelli.
To contact Sue, please go to her website at: www.suecrockettphotography.com/comments powered by Disqus