Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Holidays from Boyd and Silva

We’d like wish everyone a Merry Christmas and thank everyone involved with our continuing success in the United States. We owe a debt of gratitude to the team of workers and coaches around us for putting in a huge effort in 2009: our two riders, Lillian Heard and Caitlin Silliman; our groom, Shannon Kinsley; and all the working pupils: David Silva, Randall Pearve, Emily Van Gemeren, Devon Seery and Maddie Blackman; our blacksmiths, Doug Neilsen and Todd Meister; vets Mary Griffen and Kevin Keane; and our coaches Phillip Dutton and Jessica Ransehousen.

Of course we owe a huge thanks to all of our sponsors and the owners who have put horses in training with us: without them none of this would be possible. We understand that it has been a long tough financial year for everyone and we appreciate those who stuck by us even as their financial advisors were telling them not to!

Without our horse owners we would have nothing to ride; they are the backbone of the sport and the reason we employ all these hardworking people. Owning a horse can be rewarding and also have its drawbacks: while the highs are high, the lows are often very low. We are lucky to have a group of owners who understand when things don’t go perfectly, and who understand that eventually things will start coming good.

On a personal level this has been a very rewarding year for me. I have ridden a number of top horses from the three-star level down to beginner novice. Some people thing my biggest thrill is my Fair Hill win on Neville but I get the same enjoyment from riding the young horses with a bright future on a daily basis. I think the quality of young horses that we have in training at the moment is outstanding and I can’t wait until next year to showcase their talent.

In hindsight the big decision of turning into an American rider this year is one of my best decisions. It was a huge call but there is not one moment that I’ve regretted it. I’ve felt the full support of the eventing community and been embraced by the high performance groups of riders and officials. I thought there might be one or two people with weird feelings about it but if there are, they’ve done a good job of hiding it.

Obviously we have a big year coming up in 2010. First and foremost I want to ride a couple of horses around Kentucky, and then I really want to work on turning some of these young horses into big-time horses.

Another goal is to take Caitlin and Lillian from promising Young Riders into proven, experienced high-level riders. Part of my new found satisfaction in life this year is watching the riders I teach be successful at every competition they turn up it. It’s very rewarding as a coach to know that the hours I spend yelling at my students every day actually benefits them in the long run.

We wish everyone the best in 2010!
Happy Holidays,

Boyd and Silva Martin

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