Forgive me for sounding hackneyed, but the Special was … Special.
For us photographers, the rain and dismal light of the two Team Grand Prix days gave way to brilliant autumn sunshine. There were finally spectators in the stands once the last twelve horses went, so we weren’t shooting against a background of empty seats. And the horses were, well, amazing.
There were definitely bogey men in the ring, though: I wouldn’t have wanted to have been on either Warum Nicht, who came in breathing fire, or Nadine, who came in being a chestnut mare. Warum Nicht was lookey and lost his focus a few times, and Nadine treated us to one of the most spectacular courbettes I’ve ever seen on her final centerline. Big props to both Isabelle for getting everything she could out of Hannes, and to Hans Peter for staying in the center of the saddle.
Ravel looked like a big train as he came directly toward me in his huge extended canter. He got Steffen the bronze that he’d so narrowly missed in Hong Kong, and Steffen was obviously overcome with emotion on the podium.
Toto was the big star, and he practically shimmered in the afternoon sun. I won’t bother with superlatives, because so many have been used about him already. But I realized about halfway through photographing this talented group of horses that for the first time since I arrived I was actually having fun!
Enjoy the slideshow!