The scene was set. An early morning arrival at Teesside Airport on a private plane. Staff in their numbers gathered ready to greet the mystery visitor. A plane approaches the runway and a cloud of smoke emerges as the wheels touch down on tarmac. The jet taxis onto the apron and personnel spring into action pushing a wheeled ramp towards the side of the aircraft. Metal plates are constructed into a wall either side of the ramp as two vehicles position themselves at the lower side of the ramp in readiness to whisk away the celebrity visitor to his sporting arena.
I hear the clip of his feet as he reaches the airplane door from his exclusive quarters. A long brown face comes into view and he surveys the surroundings that he now finds himself in. Satisfied that his curiosity has been met, he begins to walk down the slope towards me. I take a breath, raise the camera to my eye and depress the shutter-release button to fire a burst of shots, knowing that my window of opportunity will be brief before he is once again hidden from view behind tinted windows.
The equine celebrity was a highly regarded three-year-old racehorse called Paddington and he was on his way to York to compete. An interesting assignment to say the least and one I won't forget fur-a-long time!