Monday, April 26, 2010

Boyd Talks about Rolex Show Jumping

A few words with Boyd about his phenomenal Rolex experience:

I had a fantastic day in the show jumping ring with all three horses. My first ride of the day was Remington, who has had some disappointing show jumping rounds in the past, but I had a feeling he’d have a good round because he was so fresh and pulled up well after cross-country.

I was lucky enough to have the US’s best show jumping rider Lauren Hough walk the course with me and warm me up. I worked with Lauren in Wellington this year with all three horses so she knew them well and I must say she prepared them well. Remi jumped his socks off with ease, class and style and was heading to a clear round 'til the third to last fence, which was a vertical with a camera underneath it, and the shutter sounded like a machine gun under the fence. It spooked Remington and made him jump a little sideways and knock the rail down, but that was his only trouble and I couldn’t have been happier with his first four-star result, finishing in 12th place.

Bruce Davidson’s Rock on Rose was the second ride of the day; she was fit as a fiddle and sound as a pound at the final jog-up and went in and performed her usual exceptional self in the show jumping. I made a little bit of a mistake in letting her get a little long and strung-out and had the C element, the oxer, down, when she chucked it with her toes. She finished eleventh which was a huge effort for the mare after a little bit of a scratchy start to the year, with me falling off at her first event and then finishing last after dressage at the next one. To finish eleventh at one of the toughest four-stars in the world is a huge accomplishment for this young mare. My good friend James Alliston started her for Bruce before he moved out to California; he'd competed her to advanced level when I got the ride, because Bruce already had enough horses to handle. We've been together right on about 12 months now.

Neville jumped possibly the best he’s ever jumped. Again, much of this has to do with Lauren Hough. Not only was she helpful in the warm-up but also schooling the horses in the morning after the trot-up she got me to do some small bounces with Neville, which really got him thinking about show jumping more than the cross-country phase. I really think that Lauren’s expert advice, getting him back up in the morning and giving me all the tips for riding the course, made Neville jump better. Neville never thought of touching a rail and cruised around, earning himself $25,000 and a fourth-place ribbon.

Monday morning I spent half the day with the United States Equestrian Team entourage and we had a one-on-one show jumping critique with US team coach Katie Prudent. We also went through the video of our dressage tests with Marilyn Payne and Christian Landolt. I found this quite a good learning experience, and got the understanding that there’s still room for plenty of improvement with all three horses. The US team vet Brendan Furlong went over the horses with a fine tooth comb and no significant injuries were incurred at this competition.

Obviously the WEG is on my mind now. I think I’m by no means on the team yet and we still have a long way to go and I still need to keep improving the horses and keep them healthy so that I have a good chance to wear the Stars and Stripes in September.

Now it’s time that I take my prize money to the casino at Atlantic City to see what I can do!


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