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The favourite photos of 2023, part one

Sunday, 07 January 2024

Equestrian sports have some incredible photographers, who document the action, emotions and memorable moments at venues world-wide – and also those special relationships between horses and humans outside the ring. We asked some of them to share their favourite photo of 2023 with World of Showjumping, and write a few words about what the photo represents for them. 

Mackenzie Clark

July 2nd 2023, The Final Bow

McLain Ward bows his cap as he exits the ring of CHIO Aachen with the magnificent HH Azur for the very last time. Later that day, McLain announced her retirement.

Instagram: @mackenzie_clark

Madeleine D. Bergsjø

Janika Sprunger / Rolex Grand Prix of Geneva

I captured my favourite photo of 2023 at the second last event of the year, during the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI de Genève in December. I had been travelling for a month straight, shooting show after show, so I got creative and risked it all during the most important class of them all. I missed some important rounds getting all the way up to the ceiling, but it was all worth it in the end. 

Instagram: @madeleine.db 

Erin Gilmore

Photographing the historic Upperville Colt & Horse Show in Virginia is always a great honor as it gives me the opportunity to connect with the passionate sporthorse breeders who are producing the next generation of USA-bred jumpers. This is one of my favorite images of 2023 as it shows the wonderful potential in these USA-bred young horses. Handler Christopher Webb shows Copyright, a 2023 Oldenburg foal by Balou du Rouet that is owned and was bred by Hayley Elliott in Virginia.

Instagram: @eringilmorephotos

Elli Birch

2023 was my first CHIO Aachen and the whole experience was phenomenal - with all five disciplines taking place, it really is "the greatest show on earth". The crowds were like nothing I had experienced before at an equestrian event, tremendous sport, an electric atmosphere, guaranteed goosebump moments - the Mecca of equestrian sport.

This photograph was taken just after Marcus Ehning and Stargold had won the Aachen Grand Prix and Marcus's emotion is tangible as he pats Stargold. I like that the Aachen horse head logo mirrors Stargold's head - perfect timing!

Instagram: @bootsandhoovesphotography

Arnd Bronkhorst

Sushilla and Neva de la Luz walking in the woods. Neva is recovering from an injury and she sometimes disagrees with the slow pace that is required for her health.

I like this shot, because to me it represents life with horses, more than an image of a sport horse.

And it represents the kind of slow photography that I absolutely love, that gives me the best feeling, and that grows me as a photographer.

Instagram: @arndbronkhorsthorsephoto

Cealy Tetley

Emotion always makes the photo and Martin Fuchs reaction when he realizes he has just won the Spruce Meadows Masters Grand Prix I guess has to be choice #1. Many others but I will give it to Martin. 

Instagram: @cealy_tetley

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