Monday, December 22, 2008

Spiderwoman is Ready for Action

Today we had our 3 year old mare, Spiderwoman, scanned by the vet to see if she was ready to be serviced. I was so impressed with our new foal, Ray Price, that we decided we would like another out a similar mare. The stallion chosen is an American Thoroughbred named 'Raza-Stanza'; he is currently regarded as Australia's best event sire and he has fathered a number of advanced eventers. He is renowned for producing spectacular movers. 'Spiderwoman' is by 'Staccato', (FEI #1 Event Stallion of 2003) whom is by 'Salute'. Salute is the sire of 'Shatzi W' and 'Fair Fiona W', a Dutch Warmblood that is regarded as Australia's best dressage/jumping stallion. 'Spiderwoman's' dam is the famous 'Batwoman', a Thoroughbred mare thatI rode to the intermediate level, whom is also the dam of 'Shatzi W'.


A Day with Janet Mudge

Silva and I were lucky enough to visit our good friend, and owner of Lidcombe, Janet Mudge. She has a beautiful 200 acre property in Singleton, were she has a breeding program running. She also has a number of dressage horses in work. Janet is the only owner that has supported us from Australia with a horse. She sent Lidcombe over to the Sates when we first went over in 2006. Silva, Ashley Day, (Silva's old working pupil), and I were lucky enough to see Lidcombe's mum, Bella, with her new born baby that is by Saaleck, (photo above - Bella and foal, Janet Mudge, Silva and Ashley Day). This little foal looked fantastic. He definitely had that look about him that reminded me of Lidcombe.

The rest of the day was spent with Silva shaking Ray Prices hand...

And me giving the second love of my life a big kiss... Fair Fiona W.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Frolicking Foals

Here are some more pictures of Mademoiselle Chanel W and Ray Price W on their first day out together.

Poor little Mady, she is only six days old and a little shy but Ray couldn't wait to play with his little girl friend!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sorting through the stock....

This morning Silva and I ventured out to the Carrolls Ranch, an equestrian facility just ten minutes down the road from my parents' farm. The head trainer, Stevie Shakoff, who used to be a working student for us here in Australia, has two of our horses in work.

Enyo W, (pictured below), a three-year-old chestnut gelding by the Hanoverian stallion Escudo out of a Brilliant Invader (Reddy Teddy's sire) / Silvineer mare, looked fantastic. This little champion has it all: nice type, great mover and a sensational jump. I am very excited about this guy and we plan to import him over to the States in March of 2010.

Vroom W, (pictured below), is a grey, four-year-old Warmblood/Thoroughbred mare by the Belgian Grand Prix show jumping stallion Vivant. This mare was a little bit of a disappointment to us. She is a nice enough type, but really did not have very good movement for dressage. She is a little small as well. I suppose the great thing about her is that she has an incredible jump, great technique and plenty of scope. After a long think, I rang my good friend and Grand Prix show jumping rider, James Mooney, who will take on the horse to start its jumping career.

At the end of the day, Silva and I are only intrested in bringing over top class event and dressage horses. If the horses we have bred aren't superb, its great to have riders like James that can produce the horses to a high level here in Australia and then sell them.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Greetings from Australia

Greetings from Australia!

Silva and I arrived in sunny Australia yesterday morning. Nice warm weather, about 80 degrees. After checking in with Auntie Jan, (my number 1 fan) in Sydney, we drove up to Lochinvar, which is about 2 hours north of Sydney in the Hunter Valley. My mum and dad own about a 160-acre farm where we still are breeding horses. There are about 30 horses still there, some of which are being selected to come over to America.

I haven't seen my breeding stock in over a year, and I must say I am impressed. My most favorite horse in the world is my mare Fair Fiona W. I plan to bring her over in March next year to resume her eventing career. She won the Sydney Three Day event as 5-year-old. She has just had the most impressive foal I have ever seen. He is by an American thoroughbred stallion called Raza Stanza and I have named him Ray Price after a great Australian footballer.

Silva was also excited to see the horse she plans to ship over to America this year. Her name is Rosa Charm, (I think), and she's a three year old by Regarde-Moi (Rubinstein). She is just about to have a foal by His Highness.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Boyd Riding James Bond Style

Click here to see Boyd jumping over a couple of Minis.

Monday, December 15, 2008

USEA Convention Recap

The USEA Convention was a huge success this year, with a lineup of fantastic seminars that offered something for everyone in attendance. The convention took place at the Astor Crowne Plaza "Hotel on Canal Street at Bourbon Street, and there was plenty of fun to be had after hours as well.

Boyd said, "We had a fantastic time hanging out and socializing with riders, sponsors, and owners, attending the awards luncheon and the forums."

Television presenter Pam Forrester and videographer Joel Silver conducted a session on Friday morning and Boyed said, "Probably the most impressive session I attended was the Media Forum where the presenter gave advice on how to give an interview under pressure - she gave examples of good and bad interview techniques and advice on how to deal with media in positive and negative situations that arise in eventing.

"The Young Event Horse forum was also productive and one of my injections into the conversation was that we need to try to score the horses that win as the potential upper level horses rather than the fancy-looking ones that will never make it to a four-star. There were a lot of productive comments during this session."

Boyd was lucky enough to secure a sponsorship agreement with helmet and body protector manufacturer Charles Owen during the weekend, and Silva enjoyed some time with her new sponsor, Back on Track. Boyd and Silva also had dinner with Bit of Britain's John Nunn, who had very romantically proposed to his girlfriend Annie over dinner the night before.

With the honor of receiving the Preliminary Rider of the Year award, Boyd had cause to celebrate at the luncheon. (Photo, left, of Boyd receiving the award from USEA President Kevin Baumgardner, Amber Heintzberger photo). Boyd was also grateful to Jimmy Wofford, who emceed the event, for announcing that Boyd will be riding for the United States from now on.

It was the hours after the convention that kept most eventers entertained...Bourbon Street may never be the same after the likes of the USEA membership swept through its bars, jazz spots, strip clubs and casinos.

"The best part was sampling the wild life on Bourbon Street," exclaimed Boyd. "The best was the saloor bar with the mechanical bull, which I tamed. Silva and I also did quite well at the casino. I loved the jazz bands and the musicians performing in the streets. In our free time we just soaked up the atmosphere."

Mademoiselle Chanel

There's a new addition to the Windurra herd! Mademoiselle Chanel was born on December 13. She is a beautiful little filly by Jive Magic (Jeff's dad) out of Felicity (Fendi"s mom) Felicty is by Wolkenstein 2. She's a very stylish girl: black with four white socks.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Silva Tops USEA Auction

Tonight during the USEA Convention an auction took place to raise money for Equine Cardivascular Research. Lessons with several riders were auctioned off, followed by a few items of interest including a saddle pad signed by the members of the Olympic Team that competed in Hong Kong. The top-earning item was a bracelet, donated by Karen O'Connor, made from the tail hair of her four-star pony partner Thedore O'Connor who passed away earlier this year. The winner of the auction, in which bidding stopped at an impressive five thousand dollars, graciously returned the bracelet to Karen.

She may not be an eventer but Silva's lessons have become popular, and she had the distinction of being "auctioned" for the highest price, at $1200 thanks to eventing enthusiast David Jefferey.

Boyd achieved the second-highest price, of $950, (and for the record, both of them kept their clothes on!), from bidder D.C. McBroom, who bid highly for Silva as well.

Photos copyright Amber Heintzberger

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Boyd to Ride for USA!

Boyd Martin to Ride for USA!

Contact: Amber Heintzberger, 828-289-0658 or


Following an outstanding competition year in which he finished second overall on the USEA/Nutrena Rider of the Year leader board, Australian event rider Boyd Martin has made the decision to change nationalities to officially represent the United States in equestrian competition.

Boyd and his wife Silva have lived in the U.S. for two years, and since Boyd’s mother is from the United States he has dual citizenship. Boyd and Silva plan to remain in the United States, so Boyd has formally declared to the FEI that he will represent the US in future competitions. Silva, who is a German citizen, has filed the papers to change her citizenship as well.

“In a sense I’ve already got a family tie to American representation, because my mum represented the U.S. in the 1968 winter Olympics in speed skating,” said Boyd. “When I told them I was thinking about making the switch, both of my parents thought it was a great idea. Since I’ve been an American citizen for the past 15 years it was just a case of changing my nationality as a rider, but it’s still a big deal; when I contacted Sara Ike, the USEF High Performance manager for eventing, she made it clear to me that as far as the FEI is concerned, you can only change once.”

One reason for the change is that Boyd and Silva both have many American owners, and they feel that it is more rewarding for owners to have horses represent their own country.

“They put a lot of effort and money into it, and American owners are American patriots that want the opportunity to represent their country,” said Boyd. “Silva and I love the country and the sport here and we have both decided to continue our careers here, probably for the rest of our lives, so we want to support the sport in the United States.”

Boyd reassured his friends back in Australia that his decision was nothing personal: “I rang and informed Wayne Roycroft before my decision went public and informed him personally. The point I really wanted to make clear to Wayne is that it was a decision that was nothing to do with Australian selection. I have never, ever felt I have been treated unfairly by Australian selectors. At then end of the day, I have chosen to move my life and career to America as a professional event rider and I feel I will be in a stronger position being an American rider, riding in America.”

He also recognizes that changing nationality is a long ways from getting selected for a US team. “I realize I have to come up with great performances on top-class horses to achieve my goal of representing the US in competition,” he acknowledged.

Based at Phillip Dutton’s True Prospect Farm in West Grove, Pennsylvania, Boyd and Silva’s business focus is on competing, training, lessons and sales. They also have a breeding program in Australia and import several horses to the United States each year. Silva has had tremendous success competing in the USDF Young Horse program and their homebred gelding Jeff the Chef won the Fourth Level Championships in 2008.

Boyd is planning to bring over a few special horses and is seeking owners to take part in this journey. “Part of my big focus this year is trying to get some people involved with some of these horses that I own in Australia and have picked to bring over to America as potential team horses,” he commented.

In 2008 Boyd’s competitive successes included winning the CIC** at Bromont (Canada) riding Galileo, finishing 9th at the Rolex Kentucky CCI**** on Neville Bardos, and winning the Intermediate Gold Cup at the Stuart Horse Trials on Bailey Wick. Capping this stellar year, he and Remington XXV placed fifth in the CCI** and Belmont placed fifth in the CCI*** at the Fair Hill International three-day event in October. Boyd currently has several horses competing at the upper levels of eventing, so 2009 should be another exciting year, this time representing the USA.

For more information or to contact Boyd and Silva go to

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

On Thursday Silva and I are heading down to New Orleans for the four-day US Eventing Association Annual Convention. We’re looking forward to checking out the city and starting to get more involved with the ins and outs of the USEA. There will be a lot of great forums we’ll be attending as well as High Performance meetings. I’m also looking forward to the awards luncheon, as it’s the first time I’ve been awarded anything of this stature in the USA. I’ll just have to keep an eye on Silva when she heads out shopping along Bourbon Street!

I think it’s great having seminars at a convention like this, away from a competition where you’re concerned with your horse and all that goes with it. It’s a good chance for all of us to focus on issues on details of the sport like qualification.

There’s been lots of talk about what we need to do to make our sport safer. My point of view is that making the courses easier would just make more riders eligible to compete at the higher levels before they’re ready. Sooner or later you’ll have a bunch of horses and riders thinking they’re ready for the three and four-star levels and they’ll have a rude awakening when faced with international standards.

I think that each horse should be required to complete a minimum of six events with a clear cross-country round and one rail or less down in the show jumping before they are allowed to move up a level. For instance you’d have to complete six novices clear on cross-country and with a rail or less down before you could move up to training level. This would produce horses slower – it would take around nine months or a year to move up a level – which creates confidence and a better understanding for the questions asked.

A big problem is when horses are rushed, they tend to have accidents when they’re not ready for what they’re doing. We have to slow down the training process. Also when you’d buy a horse you’d be assured it’s ready for the level it’s advertised at. A horse could still do advanced by age eight, which I think is plenty young enough, and with the short format we’re seeing horses compete until they’re 17 or 18 years old anyway. That’s a long time.

I hope I can get involved in the debate of making eventing safer. I really think this is the answer, to slow the rapid progress. If you can’t do a prelim, why move up to intermediate?

Finally I think the convention will be a fantastic social event to hang out with my fellow competitors, owners, sponsors and supporters. Usually at an event I’m walking courses and running around and riding, so it will be nice to have this opportunity to spend some quality time with everyone.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanks to the Horses and Owners

With the Thanksgiving holidays on everyone's mind, Boyd and Silva would like to extend their thanks to all their owners and sponsors, their clients, and especially to the horses.

It's been a busy year and Boyd wrapped it up by finishing second overall on the Nutrena Rider of the Year Leader Board, an impressive feat in any case, but especially since it is only his second year competing in the United States.

There may be a break in the competition calendar but Boyd and Silva are both staying busy teaching and training.

Boyd says:

"I did a clinic in Maryland at the Maryland Equestrian Center over the weekend and had a great time with about 15 lower-level riders working on dressage and show jumping.

"All the horses that I took to Fair Hill have come back into work and it was great to ride them again. They’re walking for a week and then will start some dressage work. Neville Bardos was with Silva doing dressage all summer and is greatly improved and it’s good to have him back.

"Silva has Jan Byyny’s horses Syd Kent and Waterfront in training, and has been working a lot on their changes, and might take one or both of them to Wellington this winter. She also has Jennie Brannigan’s horse Cooper. It looks like a lot of eventers are taking this chance to catch up on some dressage training.

"Silva will head to Florida on January first and I’ll go to Aiken January 15th. We’re heading to Australia for the Christmas holidays but before that we’re going to check out the USEA Annual Convention in New Orleans, where I think we’ll have a good time and I’ll be receiving a few awards."

Stay posted for more exciting news later this week!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Clinic at Morven Park

Boyd and Silva conducted a clinic at Morven Park in Leesburg, Virginia November 15-16, 2008. Silva taught dressage lessons on Saturday and Sunday, while Boyd taught show jumping on Saturday and cross-country on Sunday. About 30 riders, ranging from beginner novice to preliminary level, took part in the weekend's activities.

Boyd said, "The dressage was luckily indoors because conditions were pretty rough; it rained a lot on Saturday and it was bloody cold all weekend. Silva worked with riders on the tests they'll compete next season. In the show jumping I worked on rideability and adjustability, with a lot of lines with turns and courses that included sharp turns and jumps without too long an approach.

"On Sunday we used the schooling field, which is about 30 acres with about 100 fences. It was the first I've seen of it and the footing was perfect. We had three or four falls that day, not a bad effort with that many ride. I was lucky enough to sit on Melissa Stubenberg's four-year-old gelding, who was last year's Future Event Horse Champion (pictured above, Boyd on "Prince" at a horse trials during the summer, photo courtesy of Meillissa Stubenberg). He was a little full of himself, which is why I rode him, but he's a nice horse with a good future in front of him.

"The general consensus was that it was a great idea for a clinic, and we're talking about doing another one in the spring. Next weekend I'm teaching another clinic, in Millbrook, New York, while Silva keeps things running at home."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hassler Dressage Young Dressage Horse Trainers Symposium

From Friday to Sunday, November 7-9, Silva took part in the Hassler Dressage Young Dressage Horse Trainers Symposium

"First of all, Scott and Suzanne are doing a great job organizing these things. It was great getting trainers from around the country together to discuss ideas. Every night they showed videos of show and training, often from Germany. Of course I grew up in Germany, but it's good to see what is going on there.

"I knew the clinician, Ingo Pape, because he and his wife had horses at Rudolf Zeilingers. They breed a lot of very nice horses. At this clinic they had about nine horses a day, three-year-old's up to seven-year-old's. Jeff is seven so he was always the last to go. All three days he was awesome. Ingo helped me with the pirouettes and piaffe/passage. He really helped a lot.

“There were about sixty people watching and nine riding; all the auditors were trainers who had taken part before. This was the fourth time they’ve had the clinic and they kept it closed to trainers so that we could really talk about each horse and not worry about upsetting anyone.

“Good on Scott doing it that way, because otherwise it becomes more of a show. It wasn’t an issue for me since I own Jeff, but sometimes people guard what they say around owners and the press. There will be other opportunities for press and owners. You didn’t have to be careful saying anything here, so communication was very open. No one was bagging anyone out, it was just a very open discussion.”


Shatzi W Excels at Rubicon

Rubicon was the last event of the year and went really well. Schatzi W finished the year in glorious fashion, coming second in the prelim on her dressage score of 39.4. We brought her over from Australia in March and she's done about ten events now, and her worst placing was fifth. She has never taken a rail in show jumping, which I find exciting - she's proven herself as one of the best jumpers around.

I actually took her in a couple of intermediates; she placed third and fifth but she seemed a little green and spooky at some of the fences so I put her back to prelim to make sure she's bursting with confidence. She'll come out at prelim in the spring and I'll see how she feels, then maybe do her first two-star at Jersey Fresh or Bromont.

I also finished fourth in the prelim riding Valentino III, a new ride for me. He belongs to Cathy Robinson and is a sales horse. He was sensational and we have some people coming to look at him this weekend. I think he'll be a good Young Rider horse - he's not dead easy, not for a child, but he's got a bit of talent in him.

I also rode a few babies, the most successful of which was This Is Houston, who finished third in Open Novice on 30.5. My good friend Paddy Young used to ride him as a steeplechase horse. This Is Houston is owned in partnership by Phillip and Evie Dutton and Shannon Stimson, so there was a little pressure to do well on that horse and keep the boss happy!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hassler Dressage Young Dressage Horse Trainers Symposium

This weekend Silva will participate in the Dressage Young Horse Trainers Symposium at Hassler Dressage in Chesapeake City, Maryland. According to the official Hassler Dressage website, "Since its inception in 2005, The YDHTS has become the only event of its kind to gather developing talent nationwide for an event of this nature. In addition, each year the Symposium attracts returning alumni for continuing education and networking with others who are equally passionate about young horse training."

This year's symposium will include instruction from Scott Hassler and Ingo Pape. Unfortunately for the rest of us, auditors will not be allowed, but as office manager Jann Clark said, "This a private event and open only to those participant who were selected for 2008 and previous alumni, chosen from 2005, 2006 and 2007. We keep it private so serious training can occur."

You can, however, learn all about Silva's experiences at the symposium in updates on this blog!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Victory in Virginia!

Complete results are available here

Minotaure du Passoir finished the year in glorious fashion, winning Open Preliminary B on 28.8. He had one rail down but we were still more than a full point ahead of second place. He had the rail at fence four, where he lost his focus over the oxer coming into the triple combination. All the show jumping took place in the coliseum, and it was quite a tricky course for a young horse, but after fence four I got his attention and he jumped really well. He's just had five events since he had colic surgery earlier this year and is in really good form. Out of those five he had three wins, a second and a third.

Benwald, (pictured right, Amber Heintzberger photo), had a clear round under pressure to finish in second place in the Open Intermediate B division (35.10), adding just one time fault to his dressage score. I've been working real hard on his show jumping with Phillip and he's never been better. I'm trying to stay over back on top in the air because he wants to get a little hollow; it's a little more forward than I'm used to riding in the landing, encouraging him to kick out in the back - he usually has rails down behind, and this has helped with that. I feel that riding him like that also keeps him more relaxed and a bit softer in the neck. It's quite a finish for the year; his plan now is to have a rest until we go to Aiken in January.

Also in intermediate I had a clean round on Tantibes under the watchful eye of the Technical Delegate, after a disastrous cross-country yesterday. I talked to his owner again and we agreed that he is a fantastic jumper but finds cross-country way too exciting. I think he has a promising future in show jumping.

Pepper, owned by Nina Gardner, was competing in only her second prelim and had one rail down to finish eighth (45.5). She's a Thoroughbred/French cross and is only five; she's still developing and in time I think she'll get better and more confirmed at prelim.

In the training division Vidalia, also owned by Nina Gardner, finished on her cross-country score of 30. She had a great cross-country; last year I struggled with her at the water - she stopped and I fell off a few times. She spent some time fox hunting with Nancy Miller and came back a lot braver. She has been faultless on cross-country since then.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Minotaure Du Passoir Takes the Lead at Virginia HT

I rode five horses today at the Virginia Horse Trials in Lexington. Minotaure du Passoir, owned by Amy Lindgren, finished his season in glorious form over the tough cross-country course in in the preliminary division here at the Virginia Horse Center. He hardly raised a bead of sweat as he galloped over the undulating terrain and tackled the numerous accuracy questions presented. This outstanding horse is leading the class on a score of 24.1.

Also in prelim, Nina Gardner's Thoroughbred/Warmblood cross Pepper had a fantastic round - he was also under the time and rocketed up the standings to eighth place.

In the intermediate, Benwald had a clear round and was one of the only horses to go under the time, so he moved up from fourth to third place. I also rode Beth Murphy's Dutch warmblood gelding Tantibes in the intermediate. He came to me for training because his rider's been having some control issues with him; he grabbed hold of the bit and took off with me on cross-country and after talking to Beth we decided he should change careers and be a show jumper.

I also rode Vidalia, another one of Nina Gardner's. He's a Dutch warmblood gelding by Contango, and he had a faultless, bold show jumping round to stand third; he'll do cross-country tomorrow, and the others will finish the event with show jumping.


Friday, October 31, 2008

Virginia Horse Trials

Boyd and Anne Hennessey's Benwald perform their dressage test at the Virginia Horse Trials in Lexington, Virginia today. (Amber Heintzberger photo)

Results should eventually be posted here

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Boyd is heading to the Virginia Horse Trials with five horses tomorrow: Benwald,(Open Intermediate); Vidalia, (Training Horse); Tantibes, (Open Intermediate); Minotaure du Passoir, (Open Preliminary); and Pepper (Preliminary Horse).

For ride times click here.

Be sure to check back for updates!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Jeff the Chef Fourth Level Champion at BLM Championships!

Yesterday Jeff the Chef (pictured above, Sue Stickle photo), won the Fourth Level warm-up class with 69% and today he came back to win the Championship with 70%. It was my first time competing him without a whip but he actually was not bad at all. It had rained a lot and the arena was really sloppy, but he was good. I am really happy that he doesn't spook any more; he's so much easier to ride than last year, he has finally grown up a bit. For more photos, from the official show photographer, click here.

Yesterday was the Third Level championships and all three horses did well. Ballatale did a perfect test: nothing fancy but nothing wrong. He was the first in the ring, which is always tough, and he scored 64.5% to placed sixth.

Sea Lord was the Reserve Champion and he was great. I think the judges don't know what to do with him because he's so powerful; it's like he never touches the ground! It was very muddy and he got a little stuck in one of the flying changes but that was the only problem - unfortunately it probably cost us the championship because the winner scored something like 70.2. There were two judges and one had Sea Lord in the lead but the other didn't and it went to the other horse.

Waimea was very good and scored 67% to finish fourth. I warmed her up a little longer today and I think she was a little more settled so she felt better than on Friday. There were about 35 really good horses in the class so I was happy with all three of the ones I rode.

This morning I rode DP Lidcombe in the First Level Championship in the indoor. The ring was small for him because he is a big horse and still a bit green, and seems to be at the age where he's struggling with the size of the arena. He spooked once and had a couple of little mistakes but I was happy with him because he really tried. He placed somewhere in the middle of the pack.

It was a great weekend and none of the horses could have gone better. I couldn't have done all this with without Caitlin and Lizzie, they were a huge help. All the horses will get a little rest now but I will ride Jeff in the USDF Trainer's Symposium with Scott Hassler the weekend of November seventh.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Wasabi Rosa Reserve Champion at BLM Finals

We're off to a good start at the BLM Championships in Lexington, Virginia. First off, I've been riding in my new saddle from L'Apogee Saddlery, who just agreed to sponsor me, and it's really comfortable!

On Friday Wasabi Rosa, (pictured above, Amber Heintzberger photo), owned by Nina Gardner, won the warm-up class for the Training championships with 72% and was reserve champion in the final with 73%. It was very close - the winner had 73.6%! There about 45 really nice horses, a lot of stallions, which can be hard to beat. It really was a selection of the best horses in the country and she did very well against the competition.

We drove down on Wednesday and I rode them all on Thursday. Wasabi needed some time to get used to the place; on Thursday she was wild and excited, but once we braided her she settled in, it's amazing how she knows her job. Her classes were held in the indoor Coliseum and even though she can be spooky sometimes she did not spook, she was just a little more "up", which was good.

I also rode the three Third Level horses in their warm-up class, which was outdoors. All the footing is very good. Ballatale, the Irish gelding owned by Sarah Sanz, scored 69%, which is a great score for him, and placed 5th. He jigged a little in the walk but the other parts were good.

Shannon Stimson's big Thoroughbred gelding Sea Lord scored 73% and placed second. He was like a ballerina, he was excellent!

Waimea, Margaret Marano's mare, was good, but I think she needed one more day here - she wasn't spooky and she didn't make mistakes, she just wasn't quite herself. She scored 68% and placed 5th which is still a good score but I hope she scores better in the final.

As far as atmosphere, yesterday there was not much activity, but I think today there will be a bit more. Today I'll ride the three horses in the Third Level final and Jeff will do the Fourth level warm-up.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Preparations for the BLM Dressage Championships

This coming weekend is the Colonel Bengt Ljungquist Memorial Championships at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Virginia. I’m taking six horses, and they are all very good competitors.

Wasabi Rosa (Dutch by Jazz out of a Farrington mare), Nina Gardner’s horse is doing the Training level championships and is going really well. She’s going better than before Bucks County, and she was champion there. I checked the draw and she’s got a lot of competition in this class, which is good and not good – she’ll have to go really well. There are a lot of good horses entered, a lot of imported horses – for some reason training level is packed with really nice horses - but she is going well, which is exciting.

DP Lidcombe (by Luebeck out of a Thoroughbred mare), Janet Mudge’s horse, is doing First level. He hasn’t been to a show since the PVDA show which was in June. He some time off because he had a little cut on his leg but now he’s back in business and feels good. I hope he’ll do really well; the judges like to look at this horse, and it’ll be nice for Janet since she’s over here watching from Australia.

I have three horses in the Third level. The first is Ballatale, (Irish Sport Horse), Sarah Sanz’s horse. I teach Sarah on him every week and about a week before the competition he comes to me. I never know what to do with the horse because he’s just so easy to ride!

Waimea, (Canadian Warmblood by Wallenstein), Margo Marano’s mare, is doing Third level as well. She competed in Fourth level at Bucks County for the first time but I moved her back to Third for the championships. Since she’s been doing Fourth level, the stuff at Third is real easy for her and she feels great.

Sea Lord, (American Thoroughbred by Sea Hero), (pictured above, Amber Heintzberger photo), owned by Shannon Stimson, is the next in Third level. He’s one of my favorite horses and I’m very excited about him because he’s so spectacular; he always feels even better in the ring than in the warm-up. I haven’t competed him in a while because he kind of got used to doing the Third level test. The last show I did with him was Saugerties, in New York, where he won both classes. I gave him a break because he’s a Thoroughbred and very smart and was starting to know the tests better than I do, which is not very helpful!

Our Windurra horse, Jeff the Chef, (By Jive Magic out of a Salut mare), is doing Fourth level. He is coming from his really good performance at Devon, so hopefully he’ll go just as well or maybe even better. I have high hopes for him even against tough competition, so hopefully he’ll do well and then move up to Prix St. Georges.

It will be a busy week with six horses but I am taking Caitlin and Lucy to help me and I have a really good feeling about it. I’ve had a nice preparation; when you come from a show like Devon it feels like everything is going well. The Virginia Horse Center is a nice facility and there’s not one horse that I’m taking that I don’t feel is going really well.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Final Day of Fair Hill

Remington XXV,(pictured right, Amber Heintzberger photo), trotted up perfectly first thing this morning – the horse was full of high spirits and had a sparkle in his eye and I knew he was ready for a show jumping performance that would be remembered. It was a tough, demanding track but the former dressage queen from Germany pinned his ears back and put in a foot-perfect round. Unfortunately the majority of horses ahead of him did too, so we held our fifth placing. I couldn’t be happier with this horse, he proved himself to be top class. I was really happy for the owners, Ron and Densey Juvonen – they have supported Silva and I and Remington this last year and a half and it’s developed into a great friendship and partnership, with a great result this weekend.

Che Kairo (pictured left, Amber Heintzberger photo), jumped reasonably well in the three-star; he was a little bit flat and tired from yesterday. He started around well but then towards the last line of the course he started to feel the pace of the weekend and had a couple of lazy rails. This was a fantastic effort for the horse, which has now qualified for the four-star level and the 2010 World Equestrian Games. The Ecuadorian owner Ronald Zabala is half considering keeping him as his backup horse for next year. There are also a few interested parties for his sale.

Belmont II (pictured right, Amber Heintzberger photos), jumped fantastic in the first two thirds of the course and then got a little bit rattled towards the end. Unfortunately I feel I could have ridden him a little bit better down the last line where we picked up a few rails. At the end of the day he finished in sixth place out of 53 starters in an international three-star three-day event, competing against Olympic and World Champions. There has been some interest in his sale from some overseas buyers and it will be interesting to see where that progresses.

All in all, it was a reasonably successful Fair Hill International three-day event, not only for myself but for a lot of the people that Silva and I are involved with. I feel like everyone who is related to a similar training program stepped up and put in a respectable performance. It was heartbreaking to watch Molly Rosin just nick a rail in the two-star, which cost her a win. She’s a great girl riding a top horse and I’m sure we’ll see more stunning performances to come in the future.


Click here for results from the event!

Left to Right: Jennie Brannigan, Rebecca Braitling and Silva Martin, photo courtesy of Amber Heintzberger

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Three Solid Cross-Country Rounds at Fair Hil


I started the day fantastically- Remy (pictured right, Amber Heintzberger photo) was the first on the course and blasted around cross-country, only two seconds over the time. He's now in fifth place. It was a real test for him but he really proved himself over a lot of accuracy questions and the tough terrain. They had quite a few problems today, but I think that there were a lot of green horses and riders for the levels.

Che Kairo (pictured left, Amber Heintzberger photo)was a big ride, I had the weight of Ecuador on my shoulders! He had a really courageous round and moved up a few places, from 40th to 20th jumping clean and with only .8 time faults.

Belmont (pictured right, Amber Heintzberger photo) made the three-star feel easy, he's an experienced horse and he jumped everything out of stride, clean and in the time. I think this performance will really assist his sale.

Dr. Kevin Keane went over all the horses and they are in good condition for tomorrow.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Belmont II Breaks Into the Top Ten at Fair Hill

Boyd and Belmont II, owned by Kate Dichey, compete in the CCI*** at Fair Hill. Amber Heintzberger photo


Today I had Belmont II in the three-star. I gave him a light workout first thing in the morning and he felt pretty good so I was confident. He warmed up well before the test and Silva told me to go for it in the ring. He gets tense sometimes with atmosphere, but he went in and I felt like I got the best test that I've had with him so far.

He was just a little tense in the walk, but it was the best score we've had and it's exciting that it was in an FEI test and that he made the top ten with such good rides from the competition. I thought in both the two-star and the three-star the judges got a little more generous as the day went on, but luckily I rode in the afternoon!

Thinking about tomorrow, in the two-star the biggest thing is making sure I have enough fuel left in the tank with Remington.

In the three-star Kairo's a little green and I don't know him well so I will have to take my time at the jumps that ask accuracy questions. Belmont is big and strong so I'll have to take care with him at the end of the course, in case he gets stronger as we go along.

Remington is first on course at 8:30am so I'm looking forward to getting out early and getting a good ride while the others sit back in the barn getting nervous! Actually it's an advantage to watch a few go, but it's part of the sport that what you get is what you get.

Silva's students did well today, so I'll hand it over to her to talk about them....


Molly [Rosin] was awesome yesterday, she had a little scare in the shoulder-in left when the loudspeaker started crackling and Charly spooked, but she pulled herself together and rode a beautiful test.

Ryan [Wood]had beautiful trot work and the canter got a bit long, but the horse has naturally fantastic movement and obviously he did well in spite of the canter.

Cayla's ride was fantastic - the horse didn't look as big as he does sometimes, which makes Cayla look like a peanut up there. She really pulled him together well. She got a 66 from two judges and a 61 from one judge so the scores were off and I think she should have scored higher, which is disappointing.

Julia Steinberg and Mr. Big had a lovely test and scored their best score ever.

Steph Boyer got the flying changes, and I thought she should have scored better too. I guess I'm a little biased, because I see the horses every day so I saw how much they have improved, while the judges only see what's in front of them!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Remington XXV Top 5 in CCI** at Fair Hill International

Photo of Boyd on Remington XXV warming up under Silva's watchful eye. Amber Heintzberger photo.

Boyd’s commentary from Fair Hill:

Remington XXV (in fifth place in the CCI** with 50.3), put in the test of his lifetime. We had a couple little mistakes but he was as good as I’ve ever had him. He struggles with the walk, and the first half-pirouette in the walk he got tense and thought I wanted him to canter, so we had a little bobble there. It was the best score I’ve had with him at an FEI event and I could not have asked for more.

Che Kairo’s (20th place in the CCI*** with 66.7), trot work was basically spot on but he got a little tired and strung out in the canter. The thing that hurt the most is that I fumbled both changes, but he’s a bit green in the changes and I think that with a bit more training they’ll be good.

Looking at the cross-country course I think it’s challenging. The course is up a mountain and then down a mountain. Remington can jump anything but has never run this distance before. Being a warmblood, I plan to look at how he’s going after a bit and gauge how he’s feeling. If he feels good I’ll get on with it, but if he’s getting tired I’ll just get him home. He’s been galloping hills and doing lot trots so I feel like he’s as fit as he could be.

Che Kairo is an Argentinean Thoroughbred and he’s a tough horse and a naturally good galloper. Because it was a late decision to bring him to the event he missed some early gallops so again I will have to see where he is on the course and bring him home carefully if I have to.

The new two-star course looks brilliant – it’s the first year they are running a two-star and it shares a few fences with the three-star. The jumps are pretty tough and technical but the hardest thing is where they are placed on the terrain. The trickiest part for Remington will be that he’s a bit green on cross-country so I will have to try to show him the jumps a bit.

Silva’s and my student Molly Rosin is leading the two-star and she made a very good effort and had a great test. Her horse is in fantastic form. I’ve jumped him a few times myself and he’s awesome, a lot of fun.

Tomorrow I’m riding Belmont in the three-star. He’s rockin’ and rollin’; I worked him twice today and he looked fantastic. He started feeling a little flat this afternoon, so I’ll take him for an easy walk tomorrow morning. Of course then I risk him having too much energy in the afternoon, so it’ll be the art of walking the tightrope tomorrow.

Silva performed the early-morning test ride on Shannon Stimson's Sea Lord, aka Big Bird, and showed the eventers how it's done!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bellaney's Destiny Withdrawn from Fair Hill

A message from Boyd:

"The horses were all checked out at home this morning and unfortunately Bellaney's Destiny (pictured above, photo by Amber Heintzberger) will be a late withdrawal because of a bruise on the heel of one of his forefeet. The vet he should be a hundred per cent sound in a few days, but the first veterinary inspection is tomorrow and we want to play it safe and let him heal completely.

"The other three horses were checked out this morning as well and given the go, so I did a jump school with the each of them with Phillip, then drove them over to the event and gave them each a light ride around the competition site. They've all settled in well and we're looking forward to the event getting under way tomorrow. Silva will be doing the test ride Thursday morning at about 7:30am, then I'll be riding early in the two-star lineup so I should be in the ring shortly after Silva."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Preparations for Fair Hill

Boyd took a few minutes out of his busy Fair Hill preparations to talk about the four horses that he is taking the championship event, which begins with the first veterinary inspection on Wednesday. Last year in the CCI*** at Fair Hill Boyd placed second on Ying Yang Yo and fourth on Neville Bardos.

"It's good going back to Fair Hill feeling confident and knowing what it's about," says Boyd. "I think we've had a good preparation for the event and I'm riding four good horses. I think that the new two-star will be a real showcase of the best horses in the country."

In the three-star Boyd will ride Che Kairo,(pictured left, photo by Amber Heintzberger) a 13-year-old Argentinean Thoroughbred gelding who was Ecuadorian Ronald Zabala's partner at the Pan American Games. Zabala is trying to sell the gelding, who has also been ridden by Phillip Dutton. "He's athletic and has a lot of talent," says Boyd. I won an intermediate with him at Surefire earlier this year and ran him advanced at Morven last weekend. The end goal is to sell the horse, so I hope to have a good result that will encourage his sale on the international market."

Also in the CCI*** Boyd will ride Belmont II, (pictured right, photo by Amber Heintzberger), a Dutch Warmblood/Thoroughbred cross gelding owned by Californian Kate Dichey, who is a good friend of Boyd and Silva. "Belmont is very strong in the dressage and has a good jump in him," says Boyd. "I'm also looking for a good result to get him sold for Kate."

Boyd points out that with a good result, both of these horses will be qualified for the 2010 World Equestrian Games, which he hopes will also improve their chances at selling.

In the CCI** Boyd will ride Bellaney Destiny, (pictured left, photo by Amber Heintzberger), an Irish gelding owned by Debbie Kuhns. Boyd and the handsome big grey recently placed second in the CIC** at Plantation Field.

Boyd will also ride Remington XXV, (pictured right, photo by Emily Daily for the US Eventing Association), owned by Densev Juvonen, in the CIC**. The handsome bay placed third in the CIC** at Richland Park and was third in the open intermediate at Stuart.

“Both of these horses have had really strong performances this year so I’m looking forward to a good weekend with them.”

Back at the barn things are also on a good turn. Boyd's good friend from Australia, Ryan Wood, just started working at True Prospect Farm, and leading Intermediate rider Jennie Brannigan has been at the farm for about a month now. "It's good fun,” says Boyd. “I think that with me and Ryan and Jennie all riding we've set a really high standard, and the maestro Phillip is giving us all a lot of good training."

Friday, October 10, 2008

Count Down to Championships

Boyd and Silva are busy preparing for what may their biggest competitions of the year, the championships that culminate the 2008 season. Boots and tack are being polished, horses are being groomed meticulously, and final training sessions are taking place as they count down the days to their respective competitions.

For Boyd the big event is the 20th annual Dansko Fair Hill International Festival in the Country, October 15th-19th, in Elkton, Maryland. He has two horses, Bellany Destiny and Remington XXV, entered in the inaugural CCI** and another two horses, Belmont II and Che Kairo, in the CCI***.

Boyd is not sitting at home meditating about how to take on the competition, however - he's keeping the cobwebs off by running five horses at the Maryland Horse Trials this weekend, (Four at prelim, one at novice).

For Silva this is the Colonel Bengt Ljungquist Memorial Championships at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Virginia, October 23-26. Silva qualified an impressive six horses: Wasabi Rosa (Training Level); DP Lidcombe (First Level); Waimea, Sea Lord and Ballatale (Third Level); and Jeff the Chef (Fourth Level).

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Congratulations to Silva's Student

Congratulations to Silva's student, Lillian Heard, on winning her first long-format three-day event at Morven Park this past weekend. Lillian is also a student and employee of Jan Byyny in Virginia, and recently won the CIC* at Plantation Field as well. Go Lillian! Click the headline above to read all about it!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Boyd's Guide to Buying a Champion

Your Guide to Buying a Champion
By Boyd Martin

Let’s face it, folks–the best fun you can ever have with horses…is winning! In this day and age, eventing has so many fantastic riders, it often comes down to who has the best horse. This is your guide to buying your next champion.

Love at First Sight
The first moment you see your future horse, or the first time you sit on him, you should know, right there, if this is THE ONE. If you have to convince yourself that this horse could, maybe, be okay – forget it. Let your instincts be your absolute guide. This horse should be on your mind, stopping you from sleeping at night, putting a permanent smile on your face at just the thought of him. You should be boring your friends with the possibilities of this new horse.

I never get too concerned about the size of the new horse. Just remember, the greatest eventer of all time was Charisma, just 15.2hh. I often find the smaller horses seem to think a lot sharper and stay a lot sounder. I suppose the only size I am worried about is the size of his ticker.

Again, don’t get too hung up on the age of your new horse. The majority of horses peak, in all disciplines, at the age of 16. If you are buying a green horse, and you were being a little bit picky, I suppose you would aim for under 10 years old. Again, similar to size, if it is the right horse, it is the right horse, regardless of its age.

Find out a detailed history of the horse’s training and experiences. Just be aware that if the horse is an ex-racehorse, it’s going to have more wear and tear on him than a purpose-bred horse. But, he has already learned in life how to gallop, be transported, and has been exposed to a lot of weird and wonderful places.

It’s fantastic when you can get hold of a horse that’s started his career with straight dressage, as he has been carefully educated and exposed to non-exciting competition.

Always be wary of buying a straight show jumping horse and then expecting him to be miraculously transformed into a dressage horse. There are always exceptions but more often than not, the basic dressage work is hard to establish.

In my opinion, stable vices should encourage you to buy the horse, as all the champions I’ve dealt with are real characters in this department! Windsuckers are always welcome!

Pedigree and Breeding
Fancy breeding is not an essential, but it is always interesting to check out the horse’s pedigree. The chances of the horse being a super mover or an amazing jumper are seriously improved by specialized breeding. If you are buying a dressage horse or a jumping horse, look for proven Warmblood lines. Eventers should search for Thoroughbreds or Thoroughbred/Warmblood crosses that can still gallop. And yes, there are always exceptions to this rule; for example, straight Warmblood eventing champions and awesome Thoroughbred dressage queens do exist.

Don’t let the price dictate whether you buy the horse or not. If it is a $500 horse and exactly what you’re after, go for it. When selecting your horse, it’s either the right horse or not–it doesn’t matter how much it is. If it is the right horse, always haggle as hard as you can with the seller and try to get out of paying full price for the horse. It is common practice in horse dealing to negotiate to a
lesser price. Think of it simply as a business deal, a little like buying a used car.

Vet Check
If you want to be very cautious that you are not getting ripped off, use a vet check. But, be aware that many vets are on their guard about being sued and will find something wrong with the horse. Try to find a vet who has some balls about him and will give you an off-the-record recommendation whether this
horse will be sound enough for the job. I would much rather buy a freakishly amazing horse with a funny-looking foot than an absolutely useless goat with perfect feet.

Do a background check of your horse’s performances. Contact the USEA or the USEF, or search the ‘net and find out his results and scores. Do some snooping around. Ring up contacts that may have some confidential knowledge about the horse that the seller is not disclosing. The result should give you an idea how the horse behaves outside the home paddock that you’ve just tried him in.

In my experiences, if you are buying a competition horse, try not to get too hung up on the thought of resale. If you have resale in mind, you are going to have to be more selective in the horse’s age, size and vetting report. The most important thing in selecting a winner is that the horse is incredibly talented. You need a horse that you can make the most awful mistakes on while on course and yet he still goes for you. He needs to be simple and straightforward to operate, so that he’s an absolute pleasure to train and compete.

Note: This is just a preview of an article by Boyd in the upcoming issue of Eventing USA magazine, the official publication of the US Eventing Association. Be sure to look for the article for more entertaining and educational tips from Boyd!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Bit of Britain Tent Sale

Boyd and Silva currently enjoy sponsorship from Bit of Britain in Oxford, PA. Next weekend this awesome tack shop is holding their annual tent sale, with unbelievable deals. If you are in the area be sure to check it out!

Monday, September 29, 2008


Dressage at Devon is the epitome of dressage competition in the United States, and Silva had a fantastic weekend with two of her competition horses.

In the FEI Championship for Five-year-old horses Silva and Meg Williams' FS Tiger Lily placed second overall in a class of eight horses. Tiger Lily scored 76.4%, with marks of 8.5 for her trot, 7.8 for her canter and 7.2 for her walk.

Silva says, "She warmed up beautifully - she's never gone so well. The class was under the lights and there were a ton of people there, and she was just a little intimidated by the atmosphere so I think that's why she ended up second. Last year she won the Championship for four-year-olds but the class was during the day and there were a couple other horses in the ring with her. This year she was by herself and there were a lot of spectators. She tried really hard though, I'm proud of her!"

FS Tiger Lily will head to Wellington for the winter, where Meg and Silva will share riding her.

Silva's own Jeff the Chef, who has only been showing at Fourth level for a few months, had an exciting weekend at Devon. On Saturday he placed 8th out of 17 horses in Fourth level test 2 (62.614%). The warm-up paid off because he came back the next day and placed fourth in the same test with a score of 66.54%. His biggest success was Sunday morning when he finished second overall with a score of 65.041% in Fourth level test 3.

"Jeff was awesome," says Silva. "The first day he was still green in the test, and his pirouettes felt unconfirmed but he was relaxed - he can be spooky, but he was not spooky that day. On Sunday he was tired but he tried his heart out, we just messed up one pirouette which cost us the win. It was muddy and disgusting from all the rain and the footing was horrible! In the afternoon he was even more tired but he kept going and didn't make any mistakes. For the first time, he felt like a real fourth-level horse."

Silva concludes, "Competing at Devon was great. I was lucky because I didn't get wet! It's exciting to think about competing at the FEI levels again, it's just one more step up, and I have some really nice horses."

Photo of Silva on Jeff the Chef copyright Amy Dragoo 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dressage at Devon Under Way

It has already been a busy season for Silva. Just over a week ago she and Nina Gardner's Wasabi won the Training level championship Dressage at Bucks Count, where Waimea placed second in Fourth Level test 1 and Jeff the Chef won Fourth Level test 3.

Today is the first day of Dressage at Devon, and Silva will be taking two horses to the show this year. She is riding FS Tiger Lily, owned by Meg Williams, in the Championships for five-year-old horses on Thursday. On the weekend she'll be riding her own Jeff the Chef in Fourth Level - Saturday in the Fourth Level Test 2 qualifier, and Sunday in Fourth Level Test 2 and Fourth Level Test 3.

Last year at Devon, with Silva riding, FS Tiger Lily won the Championship for four-year-old horses and Jeff placed third in the Championship for six-year-old horses.

"This year I know the place better and won't have to find my way around," said Silva. "Jeff is still green at this level but he is going the best he can, so I'm looking forward to riding him. He had a 69.5% at Bucks County, and if he gets that at Devon I'll be really pleased. Hopefully Tiger Lily will do well; she had the last week off with a hoof abscess but she's back in business now and doing great."

Silva is excited about the atmosphere at Devon too. "It's fun having a lot of competitors at one show - there are maybe 35 horses competing in Fourth Level, which is a lot in this country, and it's world-class competition. It's more like the shows in Germany. Jeff is only seven but hopefully he'll keep up with the others. I am hoping that he'll do the small tour there next year."

Amber Heintzberger Photo of Silva and working student Caitlin Silliman preparing Nina Gardner's mare Wasabi for a photo shoot at True Prospect Farm.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Top Finishes at Plantation Field International

In the inaugural Plantation Field International CIC and Horse Trials, just down the road from True Prospect Farm, Boyd finished second in the CIC** with Bellaney's Destiny, owned by Debbie Kuhns, and fourth in the CIC*** riding Belmont II, owned by Kate Dichey. Boyd and Silva's students also had an outstanding weekend, with Molly Rosin winning the CIC** riding Havarah's Charlie,and Lillian Heard winning the CIC* aboard Share Option.

Silva commented after Heard's successful jumping round, "She and her horse both have a lot of talent and she has been working hard. I'm very proud of her."

Boyd hopes that Belmont II will compete in a couple of upper-level events before he sells him for Dichey. "He's soft and rideable in the dressage and has good jumping ability," said Boyd of the big bay gelding. Horse and rider have not had much time to get to know each other. "I did an intermediate on him a couple weeks ago and placed third or so, and then he just came to Silva's barn last week."

Bellaney's Destiny came to Boyd with longer-term goals, and Boyd said, "He's only been here a couple months and he's really improved. It's a shame he didn't win today, but he has shown amazing improvement."

Photo of Boyd and Bellaney's Destiny copyright Amber Heintzberger 2008

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Boyd Leads Two-Star at Plantation Field CIC

Boyd rocked the cross-country at Plantation Field today! He and Belmont II are tied for second with Phillip Dutton on Bailey Wick in the CIC*** with identical dressage scores (49.20) and cross-country time faults (5.20) for a total of 54.4 penalties. Will Coleman and Twizzel maintained their lead(45.2)

In the CIC** Boyd is leading with Bellaney Destiny, (50.0), an Irish horse owned by Debbie Kuhns that is a relatively new ride for him, though he already won the preliminary at Seneca. “He’s top class and gave me a great ride today,” said Boyd.

California native Molly Rosin, who has been training with Boyd, is in second on Havarah’s Charlie, her partner in winning the preliminary championship at the American Eventing Championships two years ago. Molly was thrilled with Charlie’s cross-country round and said that he felt unstoppable on course today.

Sally Cousins won the advanced division riding The Robber Baron, a nice reward after she and Tsunami parted company in the same division. Boyd was tied for first but was two seconds slower so had to settle for second place riding Anne Hennessey’s Benwald. Boyd wrapped things up by winning a division of preliminary riding Minotaure du Passoir, who only recently returned to competition after undergoing colic surgery earlier this year. "He's only had two starts since I brought him back and I'm ecstatic with him," said Boyd. Shatzi finished 5th in the same division.

At the end of the day Boyd said, "They were good tough, testing courses but rideable. Most of the horses jumped well and the courses caught out the horses that weren't up to it. It was a fantastic cross-country day here at Plantation Field, I'm thrilled with all five horses that I rode. This is probably the best Plantation I've been to. I've always thought of Unionville as as the best area for eventing, with all the trainers and horses here, and it's fantastic that we now have a showcase event like this."

Photo: Boyd Martin and Bellaney Destiny, copyright 2008 Amber Heintzberger

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Inaugural Plantation Field International CIC

Boyd and Belmont II compete in the CIC***

Photo by Amber Heintzberger