Imagine yourself in a front row seat at the final day of the 2017 Badminton Horse Trials earlier this month.
Heart racing, hooves pounding, breathlessly counting the rails as they come down in the show jumping phase of competition. Sounds great, right?
This year, Phil Kroll was in that enviable position. Kroll isn’t a life long equestrian, but in recent years he has found a great love for the sport.
“I just enjoy being around [horses] and trying to capture their spirit and greatness,” he says. “Every time I come away with photos that bear different impressions on me. This is part of that horse spirit that the equestrian communities live for and live by.”
Kroll photographs equestrian events as part of his Philmit Photography project, which he formed after a successful career in the film business. As an electronics engineer, Phil’s advancements in telecine systems helped to bring classics like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Spartacus, The Sound of Music, West Side Story and Oklahoma to the silver screen.
Now he’s covering England’s finest equestrian endeavors from horse inspections to awards ceremonies, to the benefit of horse lovers everywhere.
As is often the case, the final showjumping phase proved influential in determining the leaderboard for Badminton 2017. Ingrid Klimke (GER) led the pack heading into showjumping, but with 16 jumping and seven time faults, she dropped from first to ninth.
This opened the door for Andrew Nicholson of New Zealand and his mount Nereo to claim victory just behind perennial favorite Michael Jung of Germany.
“When I cover equestrian events, I feel that we are in their space and not the other way round,” reports Kroll. “[Horses] are such humble, gracious and majestic beasts and just walking amongst them makes me feel so humbled.”
Kroll reverence for the beautiful “beasts” that took over the park of Badminton House once again this May is evident in every image he captures in glorious color. Be sure to see them all!
About the Author
Marjorie Wilkinson is the co-founder and co-editor of Counter-Canter Culture—a revolutionary online publication intended to unite the equestrians and equestrian-enthusiasts who aren’t afraid to kick up the dust that has settled on the conventional equine lifestyle. She is also a real-life Hollywood music supervisor and the official curator of Counter-Canter Culture’s musical column, 100% Sound.