The Snuggle is Real: Team USA Gets Cozy at Boekelo

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There are two serious jumping phases left to tackle at¬†Military Boekelo¬†CCIO4*-L, in which the US currently sit in a close second place, but no matter what happens this weekend, we reckon our American contingent have already won the prize for the most team spirit: you can find them at the in-gate for each and every US rider’s test, acting as a roving cheerleading squad and all chipping in to help with the serious business of sorting the horses after their tests. Oh, and there’s been a whole heck of a lot of hugging going on, too, and who can blame them for feeling a bit heart-eyed, really, when their horses are easily the most ludicrously cute in the field? Dive in and feel the love with our in-gate gallery from the first phase here in the Netherlands.

Hallie Coon is all smiles after a super test from the inexperienced Global Ex. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Tamie Smith’s green but exciting Solaguayre California gets a well-deserved bit of fuss after a top-ten test. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Jennie Brannigan’s FE Lifestyle says “no fanks!” to the post-test bit check, and who can blame him, really? Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Hallie Coon’s Global Ex gets some love from groom Tabby Fiorentina. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Matt Flynn is very tall, which makes him perfect for the tough job of removing ears for the steward’s inspection. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Tamie Smith and Erik Duvander discuss the finer details…

…and then hug it out for good measure. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Jenni Autry and Jennie Brannigan take the two-pronged approach to horsecare after Danito’s test. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Tamie Smith’s groom, Taylor Greene, takes on horse-whisperer duties. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Danito: picture perfect and one of the US’s brightest rising stars. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

We want to talk about one thing and one thing only: Wizzerd’s ears. We’re obsessed. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Even chef d’equipe Erik Duvander can’t resist a bit of pony patting. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Tabby Fiorentino, Jennie Brannigan, and Ash Heller watch on as Hallie Coon prepares to enter at A. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

After the test, it’s all about the full team debrief — and that includes celebrations with the squad. Photo by Tilly Berendt.


Confirmed: Team USA wins the gold for the cutest horses here at Boekelo, as Global Ex happily confirms. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Teammates Tamie Smith and Jennie Brannigan celebrate after Tamie trailblazes to a super score with Danito. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Global Ex receives a highly coveted high-five to the schnozz from Jennie Brannigan. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Sorry, but could Danito BE any more adorable? We think not. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The man behind the magic: Tamie Smith shares a hug with Jo Hinneman, the German dressage guru who’s become her right-hand man during the pandemic, and with whom the US squad based themselves before Boekelo. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

QC Diamantaire is all character after a super test with Sydney Elliott puts him just outside the top ten overnight. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

US Eventing’s Managing Director Jenni Autry doesn’t play favourites, but if she did, Wizzerd would be right up there. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Tyler Held, head groom for Jennie Brannigan, shares a moment with FE Lifestyle. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

“Didn’t I do well?” Wizzerd smiles for his people after a sweet test with Matt Flynn. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The best way to get attention? A full squad pile-on, as FE Lifestyle proves. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Hallie Coon and her partner Ash Heller stave off the early morning Boekelo fog. It’s snuggle szn, baby. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

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