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Duchess Sanctuary Holds Photography Workshop

Duchess hosts amateur photographers for a day of photographs, horses and fun.

  • View of the rolling hills of Duchess Sanctuary from the barn door. Jeana Zayas/For The HSUS

  • A Duchess horse poses for the camera. Peggy Riley Lawson/For The HSUS

  • A curious horse inspects one of our photographer's cameras. Sandra Haines/For The HSUS

Duchess Sanctuary, just outside of Oakland, Oregon, recently held a photography workshop to allow amateur photographers the chance to capture the beauty of the rolling hills, wildflowers and horses that make up Duchess. The spring weather could not have been more perfect as seven amateur photographers joined Ranch Manager Jennifer Kunz and professional photographer Shanon Goodwin of Illusional Arts Photography for a few blissful hours out in the pastures with the Duchess horses. Shanon provided technical support and guidance while Jennifer told the participants about the horses and sanctuary.

After introductions and some visiting, the group first headed up a grassy hillside to meet the “Light Herd”—a group of about 40 smaller breeds of horses such as mustangs and Quarter Horses. The white daisies, green grass, and slightly overcast skies combined to create great backdrops. Many of the horses were curious about so many people being in their pasture, and followed people around sniffing cameras and playing with whatever equipment they could reach.

A short break allowed everyone to rest for a few minutes, then the group piled into the ranch truck and headed up to the top of the ridge to meet the “Big Herd.” More than 120 draft and draft cross horses made a big impression on the visitors. The sun broke through the clouds, the temperature started to climb just a little, and the horses were lazy and lolling about under the shade of the trees. From high on the ridge, you can literally see for miles around, and the photographers appreciated the stunning views.

Sharing stories while taking pictures and enjoying the quiet, everyone in the group was thrilled with the experience. Their reluctance to come down off the hill was relieved by a delicious vegetarian lunch and more time to visit with each other and learn more about the sanctuary.

Participants talked about it being an amazing day, a wonderful experience, and a great time.

The workshop is a fundraiser for the sanctuary, with registration fees going towards the care of the horses. Another workshop will be held this fall, contact Jennifer Kunz at jkunz@fundforanimals.org for more information.

Be sure to visit the Duchess Sanctuary Facebook page to see even more photos!

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