Carl & Charlotte Featured as Dynamic Duo on VisionoftheHorse.com
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Kit Houghton gets to display his love of story telling on VisionoftheHorse.com, possibly the most innovative equestrian digital magazines, the fifth and latest edition of the free Internet version that became available online Tuesday.
The latest edition offers dressage fans features on Britain’s “Dynamic Duo” of Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin and the second consecutive World Cup Final victory of Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival in a smörgåsbord of fine photography, video and audio accompanied by music.
The content captures the majesty (yes, a feature on preparations for the diamond jubilee of Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth), excitement (Rich Fellers winning the jumping World Cup Final for the first American victory in a quarter century) and a good time (the world comes to Wellington’s Winter Equestrian Festival for fun in the sun while most of the rest of the Northern Hemisphere freezes) of horses and whose who love them.
Kit started out 30 years ago with the goal of becoming a photojournalist of wars, but that changed after covering Northern Ireland. He worked in London for more than five years but gave up the “hedonistic lifestyle” to move back to Somerset and started shooting horse pictures, mostly for fun. A meeting with the father of Simon Brooks-Ward who organized London’s Olympia and other horse shows led to it becoming a business.
“Photojournalism is at the heart of what I like to do,” he said., “as it was in the heyday of Life and Picture Post. I just always loved the concept of the picture story.
“Looking at online magazines I came up with this concept that I could produce something along the lines of a picture story but using a certain amount of new technology. And it was a way of using many of the thousands of pictures I produce that never see the light of day.”
Rolex became the major underwriter of the project as an extension of its substantial sponsorship of horse sports.
“I’m completely free to do what I want,” he said of the venture that has published five magazines beginning with the first one a year ago and now has viewers logging on from 120 countries. The average time on the site is eight minutes and, he said, 65 per cent read from cover to cover, as it were.
The response has encouraged Kit to stay on a schedule of four issues a year despite the steep learning curve.
The design and application of technology he credits primarily to Harriet Hoard, a multimedia editor of “phenomenal talent” in her early 20s–“I needed to find someone young enough who could see what I was trying to produce and make it happen.”
Kit likes to use the work of a handful of others such as Dirk Caremans of Belgium who not only is one of the finest equestrian photographers in the world but can use images, video and audio to tell a story. Dirk produced reports on top jumper rider Kevin Staut of France and the training of horses for the movies.
“I want to keep it going for as long as I can. It fits in with what I do and I enjoy it.”