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Camelot Auction- Eight Months Later

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Sarah K Andrew
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Camelot Auction- Eight Months Later

Postby Sarah K Andrew on Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:44 am

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An incredible thing is happening in New Jersey- a giant network of horse people is pooling resources and finding homes for hundreds of horses. This network has gotten the word out across the country, and has even crossed the Atlantic Ocean. Every Wednesday night, Camelot Auction runs its sale in Cranbury, NJ. Riding horses, livestock, and tack are all sold throughout the evening. The horses who are unsold and without a reserve price run the risk of being sold to the feedlot and being shipped to slaughter. In an effort to find homes for these horses, a network of equine rescue groups have created a system of cataloging, photographing, and disseminating information about these horses. The information is shared via Facebook, message boards, blogs, and word of mouth. Helping Hearts Equine Rescue began the organized effort in November 2009, but has been working with the auction to pull horses in need long before then (click here for more info about this rescue and its involvement with Camelot: http://hher.webs.com).

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The success of the Camelot network has a lot to do with how the auction is run. The proprietors are very professional and helpful. Unlike most other auctions, they are willing to work with equine rescue groups. Many of the horses sold at the auction are riding horses, either for show or pleasure, and the folks at Camelot take good care of their stock while they are on their property. The excitement is on Wednesday nights, and the horses are grateful to rest on Thursdays. Some have traveled many miles across many states and through several auction rings before they get here. They get some good sleep, and they groom one another.

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The pens are clean and bedded with shavings, with ample room to walk and lie down. Horses have access to hay and water at all times. All horses are sheltered from the heat and cold, and more importantly, the ventilation is excellent in all weather. In the summer, fans cool the horses. If a horse cannot be with other horses for health or behavioral reasons, the horse is stalled. Medical care is administered to horses who are ill.

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In January 2010, I began my work photographing horses at Camelot Auction. In February, I shared my initial experiences and observations (click here to read: http://rockandracehorses.wordpress.com/ ... ot-auction). As an independent volunteer, I go to Camelot every Thursday and photograph all horses who were unsold on auction night. I edit the photos and post them online in order for the horses to be networked until the Saturday afternoon deadline. Since November 2009, not a single horse in this networking effort has shipped to slaughter from Camelot.

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I’ve photographed several hundreds of horses; by my rough estimate, 15% are Quarter Horses, 10% are Paints (or stock-horse-type Pintos) 7% are Thoroughbreds, and well over 30% are of unknown heritage. I’ve laid eyes on a few exotic breeds, over a dozen warmbloods, and many mules. I’ve seen miniature horses and 18-hand drafts; weanlings to horses pushing 30; colors from the pearliest cremello to the deepest ebony black; registered horses with a show record to unhandled youngsters.

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As an equine photographer, my Camelot work puts me through my paces. Breaking horsey photo rules is necessary due to the environment. I shoot with a 17-55mm lens and a flash, instead of my trusty 70-200mm and natural light. The exposure changes with every single shot. My ISO is cranked quite high. I don’t use the same angles that I do for my usual farm calls, since I only post two photos of each horse: a body photo and a headshot. These horses are not being held- they are loose. My images are honest- if a horse has a crooked leg, there is nobody standing him just-so to make it disappear into the photo. My lifetime of riding and working with horses comes into play as well; I am always mindful of my safety and the safety of the horses. The proprietors look out for me and tell me when I need to take extra care around an especially skittish horse.

The stories of the horses in the auction could fill a book, from a filly being born at the auction to the blue-blooded horses who have been returned to their grateful breeders to the high drama among the rescue groups. These horses have gotten some media coverage and I’ve traveled across the state to visit them after they have arrived at their new homes. There are still many unanswered questions about homeless horses, slaughter, euthanasia, ethics of rescue groups, shady Craigslist dealers, and equine overpopulation. It is helpful to consider all of these issues, and it is even more helpful to set a foot in the direction of change.

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My work at Camelot has influenced my work as a professional photographer. The equine photography industry is comprised of many followers and just a few leaders. The dedication, energy, and heart that it takes to make this Camelot network thrive is fueled by innovative and caring individuals. If you are interested in making a difference, my challenge to you is to blaze your own path, share your unique and creative vision, and use your talents to help other horses in need.

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Sarah K. Andrew - Rock and Racehorses
The Website: http://www.rockandracehorses.com
The Blog: http://www.rockandracehorses.wordpress.com
The Flickr Gallery: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rockandracehorses

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Alise Lamoreaux
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Re: Camelot Auction- Eight Months Later

Postby Alise Lamoreaux on Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:21 pm

I just read your Horses In Need documentary project on Camelot and it was beautifully done. The photos and your comments. Well balanced thoughts on a difficult topic. I like the way you gave credit to the auction effort and the work of the networks coming together for the cause, the horse. Inspirational.... my favorite part, aside from the photos, is your call to others to do what they can however they can. Great job. :beer:
Sagetopaz

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Sarah K Andrew
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Re: Camelot Auction- Eight Months Later

Postby Sarah K Andrew on Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:51 pm

Sagetopaz wrote:I just read your Horses In Need documentary project on Camelot and it was beautifully done. The photos and your comments. Well balanced thoughts on a difficult topic. I like the way you gave credit to the auction effort and the work of the networks coming together for the cause, the horse. Inspirational.... my favorite part, aside from the photos, is your call to others to do what they can however they can. Great job. :beer:


Thank you! Your encouragement throughout this effort is greatly appreciated. I'm so glad the impact of this project comes across in words and photos. I drafted this up at 3am last night so I was not sure if it made any sense :lol:
Sarah K. Andrew - Rock and Racehorses
The Website: http://www.rockandracehorses.com
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Priscilla Miller
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Re: Camelot Auction- Eight Months Later

Postby Priscilla Miller on Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:45 pm

Beautifully done, Sarah.

This is really a great testament to the difference a well made photo makes in the adoption/rescue process of these horses. I am always amazed that between late Weds. night and mid-day Saturday, week in and week out, since November, that this dedicated group of volunteers has been able to accomplish so much and keep every horse safe.

Thank you for all your hard work on behalf of the Camelot horses, and for calling the rest of us to action.
Priscilla K. Miller
pkmillerphotography@gmail.com
http://pkmillerphotography.zenfolio.com/
http://www.priscillakmiller.com

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Diana Duffy
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Re: Camelot Auction- Eight Months Later

Postby Diana Duffy on Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:55 pm

Beautiful job, Sarah, both your writing and of course, your images. I'm sure your work helps their cause tremendously. As Pricsilla said, a call to action for the rest of us.

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Sarah K Andrew
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Re: Camelot Auction- Eight Months Later

Postby Sarah K Andrew on Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:49 am

An addendum to the Camelot project... I visited Days End Farm Horse Rescue. Blogged here:

http://rockandracehorses.wordpress.com/ ... rse-rescue
Sarah K. Andrew - Rock and Racehorses
The Website: http://www.rockandracehorses.com
The Blog: http://www.rockandracehorses.wordpress.com
The Flickr Gallery: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rockandracehorses

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Sarah K Andrew
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Re: Camelot Auction- Eight Months Later

Postby Sarah K Andrew on Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:38 pm

And we were interviewed by the local news this weekend! It was a little unnerving to be on the other side of the camera :oops:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3B5yMucqyrI
Sarah K. Andrew - Rock and Racehorses
The Website: http://www.rockandracehorses.com
The Blog: http://www.rockandracehorses.wordpress.com
The Flickr Gallery: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rockandracehorses

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Re: Camelot Auction- Eight Months Later

Postby Karin Belgrave on Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:08 pm

I've been following your blog and facebook posts about this, and I continue to be captivated by your words and images. This post has actually left me speechless. All I can say is "thank you". And, if you ever need help telling the story please let me know - I only live about 30 minutes from Cranbury.

Thanks again -

Karin

P.S. The image of the white-faced chestnut looking through the bars is simply incredible.

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Sarah K Andrew
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Re: Camelot Auction- Eight Months Later

Postby Sarah K Andrew on Mon Dec 13, 2010 1:05 pm

kbelgrave wrote:I've been following your blog and facebook posts about this, and I continue to be captivated by your words and images. This post has actually left me speechless. All I can say is "thank you". And, if you ever need help telling the story please let me know - I only live about 30 minutes from Cranbury.

Thanks again -

Karin

P.S. The image of the white-faced chestnut looking through the bars is simply incredible.


Thank you very much. It has been an incredible year. Our little effort is picking up steam. These volunteers deserve it- hundreds of hours of hard work has gone into the project. The Star-Ledger's Nancy Jaffer wrote a piece about it in SUnday's paper (featured a photo of mine...)

http://www.nj.com/sports/njsports/index ... e_car.html
Sarah K. Andrew - Rock and Racehorses
The Website: http://www.rockandracehorses.com
The Blog: http://www.rockandracehorses.wordpress.com
The Flickr Gallery: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rockandracehorses

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Sarah K Andrew
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Re: Camelot Auction- Eight Months Later

Postby Sarah K Andrew on Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:04 am

ANNNNND....

Check out the most Recent Horse News... page 26!

http://www.nj.com/horsenews
Sarah K. Andrew - Rock and Racehorses
The Website: http://www.rockandracehorses.com
The Blog: http://www.rockandracehorses.wordpress.com
The Flickr Gallery: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rockandracehorses

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Leslie Heemsbergen
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Re: Camelot Auction- Eight Months Later

Postby Leslie Heemsbergen on Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:25 am

Sarah,
It is just amazing to me that not 1 horse has been shipped out since Nov. 2009, what a stunning effort. What makes your images so in tune with the project is that the horses don't look pathetic like many pet rescue advertising, instead you have captured a window into their soul.
Bravo,
Leslie

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Re: Camelot Auction- Eight Months Later

Postby Carien Schippers on Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:20 pm

I agree with Leslie. These images would make a great fine art series.
"Doing what you love is freedom,
Loving what you do is happiness"

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Equine Photography by Carien Schippers
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