Boekelo Through the Lens: A Very Merry Wednesday Afternoon

Can we just take a moment for Jersey MBF? Sanne de Jong’s homebred might have the cutest face of the week at Boekelo. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

On paper, if you were going to explain the concept of a horse inspection to an outsider to the sport, it wouldn’t sound fascinating, would it? But there’s something really rather delightful about being in the midst of it all, watching polished, fresh horses and sharply-dressed riders present to the ground jury — and, even better, seeing them at the sidelines, prepping and cuddling and having a catch-up with all their eventing mates.

Despite the collective hangover lingering like a storm cloud over proceedings, yesterday’s first horse inspection at Military Boekelo CCIO4*-L was pure jolliness – and everyone’s joy at being back at the world’s premier party event was palpable. Here’s how the afternoon went, through the eyes of the EN lens.

Team Belgium arrives at the inspection, ready to drop the hottest album of 2022. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“You’ve got a little something right here”: Sarah Bullimore tidies up Evita AP. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Steph Simpson and Fedarman B, the ride of Boyd Martin this week. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

It’s a big international outing for Tom McEwen and new ride JL Dublin, the reigning European Champion under Nicola Wilson. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Izzy Taylor and groom Becca Ross head to the trot-up with Izzy’s two rides this week, Carolines Air KM and Graf Cavalier. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Mum’s the word! Jantien van Zon helps daughter Sanne de Jong with her horses. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Meanwhile, Leslie Ingham does the same for daughter Yasmin. Well, when you’re the dam of the World Champion, you’ve got to get stuck in, right? Photo by Tilly Berendt.

And look at her shine! Yasmin Ingham rides the delectable Rehy DJ — or Piglet to his pals — this week. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Lara de Liedekerke-Meier’s Hooney d’Arville shows off the ultimate smokey eye look for the first inspection. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Coriander Cousins leads up Liz Halliday-Sharp’s Miks Master C. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Stephan Hazeleger and James Bond provide a splash of colour to proceedings. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

It’s photo op time! Team USA convene for those all-important social media snaps after successfully completing the first horse inspection. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Richard Coney and Poetry in Motion make a sharp impression for the ground jury. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The look of eagles: Imogen Murray and Roheryn Ruby keep an eye on their teammates. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“You’re doing amazing, sweetie!” The Ocala Horse Properties boys are out in force to support Liz Halliday-Sharp, and make us all look wildly less glamorous in comparison in the process. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Freelance groom Bettina Cardi stops for a snuggle with her charge for the week, Tine Magnus’s Champagne Pia Z. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

This year’s Bramham Under-25 CCI4*-L victors, France’s Heloïse Le Guern and Canakine du Sudre Z, sail through the inspection in casual chic style. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Pony power! Kirsty Chabert’s diminutive Opposition Heraldik Girl comes forward for Team GB. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

New Zealand’s Amanda Pottinger and Good Timing pose for a photo with Zara Tindall. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Sebastien Cavaillon’s groom, Lucie, waits with Quatchina Blue Z. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“Hang on, hang on, show me WHERE on the Zara website you found it”: the conversation we assume everyone was having with Katherine Coleman after spotting her excellent jumpsuit. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Reigning Dutch national champion Tim Lips goes full boy-band mode with new ride Wicro Quibus. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Are you even a horse person if you haven’t made this face while attempting to handle a horse? Cathal Daniels negotiates a rug removal with a very quick-heeled Polly Blue Eyes, who he’s grooming for partner Jennifer Kuehnle. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Denmark’s Sara Bech Strøm and Dicte Aldrup bring forward the outfit of the day. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Ireland’s Sarah Ennis present Grantstown Jackson, while my non-horsey boyfriend who’s never held a camera somehow makes my job look very easy. Embarrassing for me, really. Photo by Alex Jeffery.

Tim Price’s 2019 Seven-Year-Old World Champion Happy Boy gives good angle. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Groom Jade Roberts takes charge of both Price family horses after their inspection. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Olympian Janneke Boonzaijer delivers some serious Dutch spirit in vibrant orange. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The stars, they’re just like us: Pietro Grandis stops to take some photos of his horse, Scuderia 1918 Future (or Manny the Mammoth, to his friends). Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Tosca Brambilla’s Legaland Mood Swing doesn’t just have arguably the best name in the field, but also the cutest ears and forelock. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

We’ve ALL been there. Zara Tindall tries to keep all four of fresh Class Affair’s legs in the correct corners for the ground jury. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Tom McEwen delivers a look that says “I’ve got a trot-up at 5 but the supermarket closes at 7”. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Truly, the stars of the show were these puppies. We don’t make the rules. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Alyssa Phillips is all smiles after beginning her team USA debut with Oskar. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Laura Collett, who was victorious here in 2019 with London 52, pats level debutant Bling before trotting up. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Italy’s Pietro Grandis makes a bold statement in a bright jumper and sharp sneakers from his sponsor, Scuderia 1918, who also own his horse, Scuderia 1918 Future. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Boyd Martin demonstrates how we all feel after the Tuesday night party while presenting Fedarman B. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Team USA is on the ground in full force at Boekelo, with a robust support system cheering on each horse and rider. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Adriaan Smeulders’s Ekow jumps to the left…

…and jumps to the right…

…and does the Time Warp again. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Not to go all Hairdressers Weekly on this gallery, but can we talk about Laura Collett’s hair? Truly the blow-out of dreams. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The most poignant story of the week? Fedarman B’s Team USA debut, which will come with Boyd Martin in honour of the gelding’s former rider, Annie Goodwin. The much-loved rider passed away following a riding accident last year and will be riding along with Boyd on the world stage this week. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

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