Katie Walker: Greetings from Boekelo!

I’m very pleased to introduce Katie Walker as our special guest blogger for Boekelo. Katie is one of the owners in the Trading Aces Syndicate, and she’s traveled to the Netherlands this weekend to support Boyd Martin and the rest of Team USA. She’s also sits on the board for Plantation Field Equestrian Events and secures the sponsorships that keep the CIC event growing bigger and better every year. Many thanks to Katie for writing!

Boyd Martin and Katie Walker after the first horse inspection at Boekelo.

From Katie:

I’m happy to be here across the ocean with Team USA at Military Boekelo. My Boekelo blogs will focus on the owner’s perspective at a CCI3* level event and how it’s different from what we see at home. I am part of the Trading Aces Syndicate, which owns the horse Boyd Martin has here, Trading Aces. So in essence, at 10 percent, we proudly own “Oscar’s” tail — and what a lovely tail it is! I love being part of a syndicate because it takes you very top-shelf places like Rolex — which I was lucky enough to attend in the spring — and Boekelo, which otherwise I wouldn’t be able to attend.

Trading Aces’ last start was at our very own Plantation Field CIC3* in Unionville, Pa., where he finished sixth in a great prep for Boekelo. In addition, you may have heard he also competed just days later at Dressage at Devon, where he placed fourth in a Fourth Level test with Silva Martin in the saddle. This is one busy and well-traveled horse!

We arrived here just in time for the first horse inspection. As soon as we walked through the gate, I recognized and greeted Brits Ed Holloway — our infamous announcer at Plantation Field for the past five years — and soon after Rachel Wakefield and Michael Wynn of Uptown Eventing fame and their adorable daughter Lily. I saw Brian Hyslop, who is grooming for Swedish rider Anna Hilton; Nick Turner, who is coaching the Irish team; Niklas Lindback, who just rode at Plantation as one of our international guest riders; and then bumped into Silva Martin with her sister and niece. So I felt right at home in the first 10 minutes.

While I made my way over to the jog, I also saw Joanie Morris and David O’Connor as they prepared Team USA for the inspection. After all three USA horses passed with flying colors, Boyd took me over to stabling where I was bowled over by the facilities. The tent has beams on the ceilings and proper lighting down the aisle — it’s amazing. We are going to need an upgrade at Plantation!

As an owner, I was showered with gifts from Ariat, including a coat, jacket, polo shirt and hat, which was so nice. Oscar was trying to open these gifts for me, but I shooed his nose away from these highly sought after goodies. Tonight there is a party at 7 p.m. — the Military Classic Night Fair — and I look forward to having my first ever Grolsch here on the grounds adjacent to the beer factory. So far, so good! More later!

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