Assistant trainer Ashely Randall takes Neotropic, a thoroughbred, on a walk as the sun rises on March 30, 2024, the morning of the Carolina Cup. (Photo by Jada Kirkland/Carolina News and Reporter)

Students participating in the Talmadge Moore LeGrand photojournalism workshop at the School of Journalism and Mass Communications in March photographed the 89th running of the Carolina Cup, a steeplechase racing event in Camden, South Carolina.

The workshop is funded through a generous grant established by Janet Tarbox and supported through a loan of professional photography equipment by Canon.

The experience is part of the JOUR 499 special topics course: A Photojournalism Adventure at the Carolina Cup: The Thrill of the Chase and is open to students of any major. The hands-on skills course is a fast-paced photography basics course combined with the real-world experience of working under deadline pressure as photojournalists.

Twenty student photographers gathered before dawn on Saturday, March 30, to capture beautiful scene-setting imagery as well as trainers working with their horses in the golden morning light, long before the gates opened to the public at the Springdale Racecourse in Camden. By day’s end, they had logged 16 hours on site covering a hat competition, children’s games, tailgating, race preparations and the five steeplechase races and one flat race that mark this annual rite of spring.

Besides skillfully combining their technical and compositional skills to produce compelling storytelling imagery, students were responsible for interviewing their subjects to provide accurate, detailed captions that gave additional background and context.

The workshop was created by associate professor Denise McGill and taught by instructor Renée Ittner-McManus. Four professional photographers, Johnny Andrews, Kim Kim Foster Tobin, Andrew Whitaker and John Wollwerth coached the student photographers, providing guidance and feedback throughout the three-day workshop.

Jessica Mccabe cuddles with Clifford in a truck bed behind the barns. Mccabe has worked with trainer Rickey Hendriks for four years, “grooming, galloping and taking care of the horses.” Mccabe also does upper-level, three-day eventing and owns a couple horses of her own. (Photo by Lexi Croft/Carolina News and Reporter)

Wyley Mohead challenges herself as she jumps hurdles in the kids zone. She came to the Carolina Cup with her sister Jaymie and grandmother Linda Herzog. Wyler and her sister were excited about choosing the horses they wanted to win each race. (By Lexi Croft/Carolina News and Reporter)

Kate Dalton, the trainer of Southpaw Mike, washes him in preparation for the second race. (Photo by Megan Sever/Carolina News and Reporter)

Spectators cheer in the grandstands after Bernie Dalton, riding Abaan, wins the Carolina Cup. (Photo by Megan Sever/Carolina News and Reporter)


Jada Kirkland

Jada Kirkland

Kirkland is a senior broadcast journalism major with a minor in African-American studies. She has interned at WIS-TV in Columbia, assisting producers in writing newscasts and helping floor-direct the Soda City Live lifestyle show. She also interned with S.C. Public Radio, producing five feature stories and writing for the evening and morning newscasts.

Megan Sever

Megan Sever

Sever is a freshman visual communications major at the University of South Carolina with a concentration in sports media and a minor in business. She is from Washington Court House, Ohio, and is excited to gain more experience to pursue a career in the sports industry.

Lexi Croft

Lexi Croft

Lexi Croft is a soon-to-be visual communications graduate of USC’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Her goal is to lift others up and help them recognize what makes them shine. Lexi’s post-graduation goal is to find a job in either photojournalism or event photography.

MORE PHOTOS: Thousands of spectators gathered at Springdale Race Course in Camden on March 30, 2024, to enjoy steeplechasing as well as fashion, food and community at the 89th running of the Carolina Cup.