#TheTea(Post)Tokyo: Happy Homecomings

And just like that, the equestrian disciplines at the Tokyo Olympics were over, seemingly as quickly as they’d begun. While we’ve all been engrossed in this week’s showjumping competition (and, um, Modern Pentathlon, though perhaps for all the wrong reasons), our eventers and their horses have been on the long road — or flight path, rather — home. Want to see how they’re getting on in the aftermath of this year’s biggest adventure? Keep scrolling for a recap of the best of their social media updates over the last few days. Oh, and press play on this for maximum impact:

There was time for one last shot at the Olympic rings before the packing commenced, and Hong Kong’s Tom Heffernan Ho — one of the fan favourites of the week with 20-year-old Tayberry — made sure to fit in a visit:

Most riders flew home before their horses, so everyone made the most of the last days together in the Tokyo sunshine and reflected on what had unfolded, including the Czech Republic’s Miloslav Prihoda Jr:

There’s so much to be grateful for — not least the grooms who keep the show on the road. Ireland’s Sarah Ennis celebrated Ailsa, her groom, who stayed behind to look after and fly with Woodcourt Garrison:

And China’s Alex Hua Tian laid out his love for his horse, Don Geniro, before getting the last of his suitcases packed and hitting the road for the airport:

It’s important to pick up snacks and souvenirs for the flight, and the brilliant Kiwi team managed to do both in one fell swoop, while hinting at their Paris plans:

Australia’s Andrew Hoy took in the last views of that extraordinary skyline en route to his flight:

Meanwhile, with the riders gone and the stables quiet once more, the four-legged superstars enjoyed some zen time. All we want in life is to be as chilled as Tom McEwen’s Toledo de Kerser was in this moment:

Before long, it was time for the horses to catch their own flights. Most were heading to Liege, and they emerged bright-eyed from their first class voyage and ready for their onward journeys:

Two of Team China’s horses, Flandia and Lady Chin, heading back to the Netherlands to the base of Dutch Olympian Tim Lips, where they and riders Bao Yingfeng and Sun Huadong live:

France’s Karim Laghouag was delighted to be reunited with Triton Fontaine:

And the riders got warm welcomes at the airport, too! Check out Christopher Six’s welcoming committee:

Laura Collett used her flight home to befriend some other big names, such as gold medal gymnast Max Whitlock:

Prepare yourself to get a bit teary over individual gold medallist Julia Krajewski’s welcome from friends, family, and students, including many of the Warendorf riders:

Not to mention the red carpet arrival of her beloved mount, Amande de b’Neville:

US reserve rider Tamie Smith made it back to California to recuperate before she heads to Europe for Aachen:

And teammate Doug Payne was back in time to catch the showjumping — which must have been a surreal viewing experience:

Australia’s Kevin McNab was delighted to be reunited with wife Emma and their two children:

The horses were delighted to get back to their fields:

While some preferred to make use of the turn-down service at home:

Oliver Townend bypassed the usual tea-and-a-biscuit:

While Michael Jung’s second rider, Pietro Grandis, celebrated his friend and mentor:

Italy’s Susanna Bordone was another rider to relish catching up with her family:

As was Boyd Martin, who we think should seriously consider incorporating the hot rod flames into his cross-country wardrobe:

The bronze medal winning French team were kept busy with obligations in Paris — and some top notch worldplay from Karim:

Now, all that’s left to do is bask in the memories, revel in that golden glow, and saddle up ready for Paris 2024. Go Eventing! 

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