On the Sunday the first weekend after WEF ended (or WEF Week 13, unofficially, for those of us who were not quite ready to let go), I met Claire Azar at the beautiful Wellington barn of Treesdale Farms. While we prepared for the photoshoot, her trainer was busy packing up all of the horses to head back to Treesdale’s home barn in Carmel, IN the next day, the number of suitcases in the barn aisle easily rivaling an airport baggage claim.
What stuck out to me immediately when I met Claire’s horses is both of them had distinct personalities that came across dynamically in front of the camera. Playboy, Claire’s equitation horse, was definitely the “ham” of the two – playfully nudging Claire throughout and even throwing in a smile or two of his own. On the other hand, Lucky, her hunter, attempted to play the “favorite child” card by standing perfectly at Claire’s side with his ears forward every time the camera clicked.
During our photoshoot, I also got the inside story on a photo I had taken of Claire at WEF before I met her (which has been added to the slideshow above). I had initially fallen in love with the photo because Claire is laughing while she’s in the ring competing. Claire divulged that she had actually entered the ring going the wrong direction and was laughing as she turned herself around before beginning her round. It’s always so fun to meet down-to-earth riders like Claire who truly have fun with what they’re doing and have a very genuine love for their horses.
Be sure to closely follow Claire as she continues to compete in the big eq and junior hunters. She still has several more years as a junior ahead of her and I have no doubt she’ll be successful in both rings!