Early on in the pandemic, when the world was closing down around us and the first major event cancellations began pouring in — that moment, in short, when we all realised it was a really big deal, there was one line of conversation that so many of us eventing folk would return to as a way to maintain some hope.
“At the end of all this,” we’d console one another, “the Boekelo party is going to be INSANE.”
For the uninitiated among you, Military Boekelo, which hosts a CCIO4*-L that incorporates the finale of the FEI Nations Cup series, isn’t just the Netherland’s showpiece event. It’s also the greatest week-long party that you’ll find within our sport, and the crown jewel is Tuesday night’s welcome bash for riders and connections, which turns a humble tent in the stabling area into the world’s greatest, sweatiest den of depravity. Ever wanted to see an Olympian working a pole? Or, in fact, dangling from one as they clamber up the ceiling of the marquee? Abandon all dignity, ye who enter here, because anything goes — and boy, did it go. As Boekelo made its welcome return to the calendar for the first time since 2019 — just in time for its 50th anniversary — everyone warmly thrust themselves into the light at the end of a very, very long tunnel. And yes, I’ve reread that sentence since I typed it, and I’m going to roll with it. Blame the vodka.
Please click through to read the rest of the article as it appears on the Eventing Nation Website.
Article written By Tilly Berendt