The Unlikely Cowgirl
Many great photographers will find a beautiful model and toss a horse in the picture to make equine photography. As for me, I'd rather honor real horsemen, those that have dedicated a lifetime to a personal connection with horses, those that could not imagine life without them.
Meet Linda Field Furr, a woman who was born into a legendary horse family in the heart of Virginia's horse country. Middleburg, in Loudoun County, is a land of rolling hills, spectacular hay fields, stone walls, thoroughbred horses, and aristocratic old money traditions, such as fox hunts and steeplechases. Bearing in mind that Williamsburg, home of Jamestown, our very first settlement in new America, is a short drive from Middleburg, Virginia. Between the two zip codes, the soil is blood stained from soldiers, and horses of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Middleburg sprung up in 1787, the year that George Washington resided over the Constitution Convention in Philadelphia. Today, many of the original buildings still stand. It is obviously loved by it's prominent residents, who treasure the history, traditions and horses. This village of 700 people has earned a reputation as the Nation's Horse and Hunt Capital. Historians and equestrians, alike, flock to Loudon County to take a trip back in time. Born and reared in Middleburg, Linda, our featured equestrian, has taken a trip back in time to a far different place. The wild west.
Linda was born Linda Field, daughter of Tommy Field who was recently inducted into the Hall Of Fame of the Virginia Steeplechase Association. She was introduced to horses on the day she was born, but somewhere along the way, Linda followed her heart to a 21st century sport, Cowboy Mounted Shooting (CMSA). This is a sport for men and women of all ages, that requires a good horse and a good eye. It is a highly competitive race against time on horseback, with the addition of a pattern of targets (balloons) to shoot with pistols or rifles. She is an active member of the 1st Virginia CMSA organization.
Linda and her horse Moonshine have competed up and down the east coast for the past eight years. Moonshine is a stunning American Quarter Horse gelding that is clearly Linda's best friend. I must admit, I was mostly attracted to Linda's horse, as I knew very little about Linda when we decided to book the shoot. Moonshine is one of the most photogenic horses I had met while photographing CMSA. Linda invited me into her home, and that was where I learned about Linda's equestrian heritage and her home outside of Middleburg. I quickly gained a huge respect for her as a horsemen, and I am hoping that our new friendship is a lasting one. I am excited to return. I guess I had fallen in love with Loudoun County, Virginia that weekend of the photo shoot.
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