Well, it all happened a bit faster than I'd expected (you have 2 days of liquid "sunshine" to thank for that) but after a delayed start I managed to complete the selection and get the Manakau selection uploaded last night. The set is now available to view on Flickr as usual.
Yet again, the conditions were a challenge with the overcast conditions dictating higher ISO, wider aperture, and slower shutter speeds. Consequently some images are again a little grainy and soft at the edges, or the depth of field may be quite shallow and the "in focus" area won't cover the whole subject, so if you're contemplating prints, do look closely at the "original" sized image and decide whether it will give you the results you want. While most look OK at normal screen resolution, enlarging to A4 might not always work out so well. It seems to be the story of the season.
The field was quite large, so with the main loop being extended and the number of loops reduced compared with last season, along with a tighter timeframe for me to get back to base for strapping, I chose an out-and-back strategy to maximise the likelihood of catching everyone at least once. An unfortunate injury for one of our competitors interrupted my return, and I think I definitely missed some folk at that point, but I was able to catch most of those at the end after our vetting was complete. If I did miss you, very sorry - luck of the draw.
We were very lucky with the weather - a few shots show some speckling from the light drizzel that fell around 10:30, but otherwise the rain gods smiled kindly on us for the day. At least the conditions were good for keeping the horses cool.
Looking forward to Pikarere, always a favourite venue not least because of its proximity to Wellington for many of us. It seems unlikely that the trail will be as dry and hard packed as it sometimes has been, but I'm guessing there may be a lot of long grass in some of the back paddocks, so that may slow folk down a bit on some of those untracked farm sections.
Hope to see you all out on the trail then.