I am Tilly Berendt and I am based in Surrey but able and eager to travel as far as my aging Peugeot 106 will carry me. (You’d be forgiven for thinking that’s not very far. You’d also be wrong. Imagine Nereo, the year he won Badminton. That’s what we’re working with here.)
I’m a passionate and committed freelance writer with a wealth of experience and a plethora of useful contacts within the equestrian industry. Not content with simply honing one skill (nor occasionally having time off, apparently), I spent years working as a groom and learning the ins-and-outs of the industry at each and every level before turning my hand to writing about it. Now, I spend my life on the road, bringing a new voice and a fresh perspective to the world of equestrian journalism. It doesn’t have to be dry, dull, or formulaic, and by tackling the sport with a combination of emotive narratives, unapologetic soppiness, and a bit of much-needed humour, I’m trying to do my part to allow its many, many stories to flourish.
I’m also a member of the British Equestrian Media Association and the Sports Journalists’ Association, even though football journalists (okay, and commentators) will always rather frighten me.
Having previously been employed by DJ Murphy Publishers, first as a features writer across their children's portfolio (AniMagic, Shopkins) as well as their equestrian titles (Horse&Rider, PONY), and latterly as a staff writer for Horse&Rider, I made the leap into freelance journalism in the summer of 2017. I remain a Writer-at-Large for Horse&Rider, largely producing training features and management guides, as well as providing recurrent in-office support to the magazine’s editorial team. I'm also the UK correspondent for Eventing Nation, for whom I provide international competition coverage across the country and beyond. Alongside this, I’ve contributed to The Gaitpost's equestrian lifestyle portfolio and write longer-form biographical features for The Chronicle of the Horse and its glossy imprint, Untacked, as well as Noelle Floyd magazine. I’ve also been published, in print and online, by The Telegraph, EquiRatings, British Eventing Life, British Horse, An Eventful Life, The Showing Journal, Equine Health, Sussex Life, Hunter & Sport Horse, and more. Before beginning my role at DJ Murphy, I served a brief tenure as a freelance sub-editor for Horse&Hound. I often photograph the events or stories that I cover, too - a portfolio can be found on the Photography page.
I’ve also worked in equestrian PR, combining my editorial experience with the PR skills I learned whilst working as the Publicity Manager for Unmasked Theatre, a new theatre group based in the south-east that focuses on revitalising literary classics for a modern audience. I continue to take on occasional PR work for riders and brands that particularly interest me, and have worked in press offices at competitions, too, including the SsangYong Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, the Land Rover Blair Castle Horse Trials, the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby, and Keysoe CSI2*. I’m also the UK Regional Press Officer for the Event Rider Masters series.
Furthermore, I spent many years acting and, as such, am well-prepared for TV presentation, modelling, and commentary jobs. I did a stint of the latter at the 2018 Les 5 Etoiles de Pau CCI5*-L in France; this footage is available on request. I’ve been called in to model for plenty of shoots for Horse&Rider magazine too, both for fashion features and riding/management articles.
Though the bulk of my portfolio is targeted to the equestrian sector, I’m now looking to branch out and write outside this niche. Some of the (many) subjects I’m interested in covering include the refugee crisis, narrative-based travel, lifestyle pieces, and long-form entertainment pieces with exciting and inspiring creatives. Got a bright idea and want to work with someone passionate, productive and prolific? Give me a call or drop me an email - let’s get excited about it together.