Horses are groomed and every piece of uniform is carefully polished.
The Richmond Cup sees the finest of the Household Cavalry competing to be crowned the best Cavalryman.
Dressed in their sparkling ceremonial uniforms, 12 Troopers have been tested by a ruthless inspection party at Hyde Park barracks in London.
Among the participants, there are six Life Guards and six Blues and Royals.
Ahead of the prestigious contest, which is now formally known as the Princess Elizabeth Cup but still referred to as The Richmond Cup, horses are washed and groomed, and every available piece of leather is waxed and shined to a mirror finish.
A minimum of 2kg of bee’s wax is used to achieve the unique shine on the ceremonial footwear.
The black leather Jack Boots worn by each trooper receive at least 200 hours of polishing for this single event.
Watch the Facebook live during the Richmond Cup 2017 inspection:
Speaking ahead of being inspected on the parade square Trooper Alex Grinstead, of 1 Troop The Blues and Royals, said:
“In the run up to this event we have been starting at 6am and finishing at 2am cleaning our kit. We look for a glass finish on anything that is black and the brass on our uniform needs to not just be shiny, it needs to stand out.”
The competition isn’t just about the individual soldiers under inspection, it is about his whole troop, as Trooper Grinstead pointed out:
“I am just representing my troop and every single member has chipped in to assist me. It’s all about attention to detail to the smallest degree – it helps to be obsessive about everything.”
The winner and the seven runners up will be revealed during a presentation to Her Majesty The Queen at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
The top three placed soldiers will represent the Regiment at the Spruce Meadows International Horse Show in Canada in the autumn.