World of Showjumping
World of ShowjumpingWorld of Showjumping

The favourite photograph, part one

Wednesday, 15 April 2020
The favourite photograph

The showjumping world has some incredible photographers. and normally we are lucky enough to be able to admire their work every single weekend. With the sport on hold, this is unfortunately no longer the case. The WoSJ-team asked some of our creative colleagues to dive into their archives to find their favourite photo and write a few words about what it represents for them. 

In this difficult time, we hope you will visit these photographer’s websites and see if you can find your own favourite photo too.

Arnd Bronkhorst

Photo © Arnd Bronkhorst/ Photo © Arnd Bronkhorst/

Photo by Arnd Bronkhorst /

"A favorite photograph is always a moment in time for me, a selection based on the current state of affairs, emotions, images. It can always be surpassed by another photograph, and actually I hope so, because that means I haven’t made my best picture yet :)

This image is my favorite: The moment it was taken is the moment The Dutch Masters show in ’s Hertogenbosch was called off, one hour before the planned start of the first rider. The Dutch government had proclaimed new rules in the fight against the corona virus and the show could not go on. I captured a series of images inside the building of a fully built up Dutch Masters, now almost completely abandoned and already being taken down. The few people still there seemed shocked in their disbelief what had just happened; the event they had worked for so long to build was called off at the worst possible moment. 

After wiring the first images, I went to look for some more images. Outside, I saw horses being loaded onto trucks they had left only hours before. I met Suus van Sinten, groom of Madison, one of the horses of Annelies Vorsselmans, partner of Jeroen Dubbeldam. She told me she had just finished preparing the stables at the event. She had her hands full to load everything back onto the lorry, so she asked me to hold the horse. I took this picture with my camera in one hand, holding Madison in the other hand. I particularly like this image because Madison seems to look back at the event where he was supposed to shine, not understanding why he had to leave arriving only hours before. 

I like to colors, the clouds, the shape of the horse, Suus preparing the lorry in the background, the whole story. And I liked that she trusted me with the horse."

Hervé Bonnaud

Photo © Hervé Bonnaud/ Photo © Hervé Bonnaud/

Photo by Hervé Bonnaud /

"The idea behind this image was to show the smallest details of sand and grass that fly when jumping over a fence. To make it work, I knew I needed my background to be in the shade and my main light to come from the side to amplify the contrast. In order to do so, I waited for the harsh sunlight to set on my right. By exposing the camera for the highlights I was thus able to underexpose my background which happens to be the main tribune of spectators. The result is a contrasty and crisp image."

Erin Gilmore

Photo © Erin Gilmore/ Photo © Erin Gilmore/

Photo by Erin Gilmore /

"At an event that is as highly photographed as the Olympic Games, one has to be especially inventive to look for that special shot that is one of a kind. At the very end of the last competition on the last day of the 2016 Rio Olympics, I finally got my chance. Nick Skelton and Big Star had finished their final round clear, but there were still one or two riders left to go before it would be determined if they had won a medal. There was a long ramp up to the warmup area from the arena gate, and I had a decision to make.

At that stage so late in the competition, you've already photographed every horse and rider many times. Should I stay by the arena and get yet more action shots, or would it be worth it to follow my gut, that Nick and Big Star would win gold, and sneak up to the warm up arena to get the first reaction shots? I waited until the rider in the arena was halfway through their round, and then I ran.

As I reached Nick, Big Star and their team, the announcement that they had won was just finishing. I moved in close as Nick hugged everyone and then stood by Big Star, kind of in a state of disbelief. He was crying, Laura Kraut was crying, everyone was crying. For a minute, it was just a small crowd around the horse, one other photographer, and me. These emotional shots of Nick are still the ones I think back on as my favorite, and most meaningful, images."

Pierre Costabadie

Photo © Pierre Costabadie/ Photo © Pierre Costabadie/

Photo by Pierre Costabadie / instagram pierre.scoopdyga.

"I have chosen this photo from the Olympics in Rio in 2016, because I like the sun shining through the legs of the horse against the light."

Haide Westring

Photo © Haide Westring/ Photo © Haide Westring/

Photo by Haide Westring /

"I’ve worked with horses all my life, and I'm in the business because of my love for these magical animals. This picture of Steve Guerdat and Bianca from the World Equestrian Games in Tryon in 2018 shows love, companionship and happiness. And also, that without your horse you can’t make it."

Tiffany Van Halle

Photo © Tiffany Van Halle/ Photo © Tiffany Van Halle/

Photo by Tiffany Van Halle /

"The Emotion: You can have a great record and be used to honors, but to win the prestigious Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen is something special for all the riders – as you can see from this picture where Kent Farrington hugs his Gazelle after their fantastic victory in this mythical place!"



No reproduction without permission, copyright © as stated below each photo

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