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By Spotty001   |   
RCE Shadow of an Empress
Handler: Abigail Cavallon
2019 AUSe Olympics
Class: Dressage
Starting No. 108 (On bridle and saddle pad)
Qualifications (3 Entries, 1 in Discipline):
    - Empress Icy Dressage
    - Empress Oak Brook Dressage
    - Empress Oak Brook Au Natural Dressage

PLACING: 2nd! :boogie:


Wow. I am really glad we finished construction on the indoor arena back home before Kamille saw this place...
Abigail wandered around the wide open space as soon as it opened to the competitors, days before the show. She stared up at the glass, windows, and domes, taking a deep breath before going back to the guest stables to see to their motley crew. It'd been years since Raven's Crown had taken on the Olympics, before Gale was even part of the team.
Never thought she'd be there. Or here. Not where she thought she'd be at the time. And still a long road ahead.
To where? She wasn't sure yet. Having learned so much under the tutelage of the RCE family, she thought of moving on, starting a new life somewhere else. Or returning home, either pursuing a new adventure or falling back into the military. At least there her horsemanship skills might bring about much needed changes in the ranks.

Focusing back on the field, she nodded to some passing riders amidst their first warm-ups and hurried to the stables. go time starts now.

Competition Day:
I'm sure it looks awesome at night, but the later classes might actually kill me before I set foot in that arena again. Abigail yawned, chastising herself for the negative thought. Competing at night was a change of pace, after all. But as a morning person, she couldn't help but protest.
Just relax, have some coffee, ride the horse, go back to bed. Easy. No one needs to get hurt. Awards wouldn't be handed out until the final day, so no harm done. Except maybe some business connections would be missed by not sticking around.
Gale stood back and watched her brew finish dripping into the travel mug, dropping a few ice cubes in before throwing the lid on, shuffling her feet out of her slippers and into her shoes, and moseying out the door. Empress greeted her with a whinny and a huff, about as enthused as she could be for having traveled thousands of miles and slept x amount of insufficient hours. But to her credit, she was calm, ate her rations quickly and quietly, and came willingly to the washing station where Abigail washed, rinsed, and repeated while still clinging to her caffeine. Returning to the stall, she propped her beverage on the floor in the corner, away from any curious lips, lest the woman lose her liquid sanity before the round had even started. She brushed out the mare's ungodly long hair, and twisted it into so, so many braids. Thank gods they only brought one truly fluffy monster this year.

One last brush, a little tack polishing, and everyone was good to go. All Gale had to do was button up her coat, throw on her hat, and they'd be off.
On second thought...she bee-lined for the nearest bean vendor.
Now she was ready.

Striding back to the stable, she picked up the mare, sipping as they made the scenic walk to the arena. By the time they'd arrived, she'd all but drained the cup, and tossed it into her purse. She stood, arms crossed, watching competitors ahead come in and out for their rounds. The cheers echoed and she swore they got louder for each person ahead of her.
Finally... "Good luck, 108."
She gave the mare a last once-over before taking a deep breath, vaulting into the seat, and urging her forward.

Watch out, Paris, your new Queen has arrived.

WC: 586


Pose Inspiration/Limb Angle Ref:…
Background Ref:…

I am so, so happy with the background, and the shading, and the overall composition (I'm sure I'll hate it in a week, but for now, WHEEEEE!).
I guess I can pull off complicated backgrounds when I put 18 hours into it? Geez.
I've never done this level of contrast and this much lighting (or at least not in recent memory), so it's been a great adventure! Once I got rolling I delved into every second of it and here we are at 4 am xD
This horse has not been drawn since like 2014, so I'm glad she gets to see the light of day.
And I plan on making this a then and now meme whenever I wake up from my post drawing spree hibernation.
For comparison, here's a similar pose, one of the last times this lady was drawn in 2014: Empress Dressage
I forgot how much I LOVE her markings and doodling them.

Last year(or the one before) I tried to get back into the Olympics and got busy every time. So hey, I'm back!
God luck to all the participants this year! Everyone's entries I've seen so far are AMAZING!!!! Check 'em out if you haven't already!
Image size
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angry-horse-for-life's avatar
angry-horse-for-lifeHobbyist Digital Artist
Beautiful lighting!
Spotty001's avatar
Spotty001Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! I was happy to more or less get the look I was going for!
Naxaron's avatar
NaxaronHobbyist Digital Artist
THAT TRIBUNE O.O :wow: Amazing job with that!!  Adore the lighting from the pair, especially on the face from abigail! You have also grown from the past image that you drawn Empress. I wish you all the luck!! :D
Spotty001's avatar
Spotty001Hobbyist Digital Artist
THANK YOU! That means a lot coming from you, your entry is absolutely PHENOMENAL!!
I think the background was worth every hour I spent on it, even if it took me til 5 am lol
Good luck to you, too! I'm hoping we see some results soon!
I had other horses registered, but debating whether or not to do those entries.
Show is technically still open, no activity yet, but I don't think it's fair to have 2 entries in a class with only 4 total in the field.