Monday, 7 July 2014

155th Queen's Plate - My 1st

You would think that after working in Toronto for two of the largest newspapers in Canada for a quarter of a century that I might have at least covered Canada's largest stakes race - the Queen's Plate - at least once. Well, I had never done so.

But that all changed yesterday, and it was a fantastic experience!

I joined a team of about eight photographers and editors, from various backgrounds to cover the race and the festivities surrounding it for Michael Burns. Michael and his father have been the track photographers in Toronto for decades. It was an opportunity I was very pleased to have, but covering an entire day of racing and all of its pageantry, demands many hours of work.

Hats of every kind adorned many of the racing fans who attended the 155th running of the Queen's Plate in Toronto, Ont. on July 6, 2014. (Photos by Peter Power)
The most colourful aspect of the day has to be the Hats and Horseshoes party that lives up to its name, and then some. There were hats of all kinds; most quite striking and beautiful, and some, just, well, not so much. But they were interesting all the same.

The race day culminated with the 155th running of this historic race. It's certainly an exciting couple of minutes, but everything visual depends on the horses, and the jockeys. Photographers, including myself, had remote cameras set up at various places around the track, some that provided good results, and some that did not. The winner, started in the back of the pack, so my remote stuff from the inside of turn one didn't even show him. But I was able to shoot the first turn from the outside and then get back to the finish in time to photograph Lexie Lou, ridden by jockey Patrick Husbands, cross the line first and celebrate.

Jockey Patrick Husbands reaches forward to rub the head Lexie Lou after crossing the finish line to win the 155th running of the Queen's Plate at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario on July 6, 2014.(Photo by Peter Power)

Like many sporting events, everything was very civilized until the big race. Then HBL - or hell breaks loose as Mike described it. But it was great to be in the mix, making pictures at a great, and historic Canadian event. I'm looking forward more horse racing, and certainly this event, in the future.

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