Friday, October 15, 2010

Boyd's Response to the Chronicle Forums

Dear Readers:

There has been an outpouring of both criticism of and support for Boyd's October 6 blog post, "Reflections on My First WEG Experience". Most of this has taken place on the Chronicle of the Horse Forum, where Boyd responded to his critics with the post that you find below. Also, here is a link to the page on the forum where Boyd's response appears:

Boyd and I discussed whether to post his original blog entry, and he was clear that he did not want to sugar coat his thoughts and feelings. While not everyone agrees with what Boyd has to say, it cannot be denied that his comments have opened a very candid discussion, which is the first step to making any positive changes in our sport. Three-day eventing is constantly evolving, and it is the passionate response of its supporters and open lines of communication with riders at all levels, from grassroots competitors to Olympians, that will keep the sport and its athletes adapting and thriving. Many thanks to all of Boyd's outspoken supporters, and let's hope that something worthwhile results from all of this discussion.

-Amber Heintzberger

Oct. 7, 2010, 05:46 PM
Boyd Martin

Join Date: Oct. 7, 2010
Posts: 1
Let's Clear a few things up....
Hey Guys.... I thought I might make a quick post to clear a few things up.

Before I start, maybe check out my blog on my website: and read my last entry. I think it's worth reading the complete letter to get a full understanding on what message I am trying to get across....

The message was basically a big thank you to everyone who has helped me get to the WEG.... including my loving wife Silva, who took care of paying all our bills while I was unable to earn anything while training at Wellington, Virginia, Atlanta and Kentucky with team training sessions trying to get the best performance out of Neville for last week at the WEG. Without her working around the clock, earning money to pay for my training time, I would not of been able to do what I did. I felt she deserved a thanks.

The other point I want to make is that I was born an American, with a US passport in Australia. I have been paying taxes here in the US for the last 30 years. The reason I changed to be a US rider was I wanted to support the country and the system that I am benefiting from. I want to give back to this country and this system.

The thing that everyone is upset about is the opinion I gave regarding sending green, unproven 3 star combinations to Europe. We're talking $50,000 spent not only on 4 horses and riders, but airfares, accommodation, rental cars and high end restaurants for the managers, coaches and entourage that also chop into this fund. I feel that this $50,000 could benefit 15 developing riders attending a camp with Captain Mark Phillips prior to Fair Hill CCI 3 star or Galway Downs CCI 3 star. At the same time, we'd also be supporting top level American events and a lot more riders for the future.

The highest placed US horse at the WEG was Neville who was produced thanks to two 3 stars runs at Fair Hill. Neville and I have never competed in Europe, but still was rank the 10th at the WEG.

I absolutely hope that the guys heading to their 3 star next week do fantastic. Nothing would make me happier than seeing American glory at Boekelo. I would call Doug and Will two of my closest mates and I hope they clean up. Make no mistake, I am an American patriot who is voicing his opinion on what he hopes will make a medal-winning performance in 2 years time.

I think this is a healthy forum to throw out ideas of a better way of doing things. I feel very strongly that we can produce top 3 star performances here in our backyard and when it's time to abuse our limited traveling budget it should be used on 4 stars horses capable of a top 10 finish. We can get more bang for our buck and help a larger pool of riders by keeping the developing riders program here in the US.

This is my opinion and you are very entitled to disagree with it. To all the haters out there, at least try not to hide behind a fake name like Snoopy....

Thanks for reading.



  1. Boyd, you are a hero!! Not only for kicking butt at the WEG's but also not being afraid to say what you believe and try and benefit the sport you love. YOU ROCK!

  2. I do appreciate your willingness to state your opinions. However, you still have failed to mention the $5000 that you were given for your month away from home while training that I would think would have helped to cover the bills.

    Also, 15 riders for $50,000 clinic is $3333 each. Must be a hell of a clinic. You are also assuming that CMP would be able to help them in some way. In light of the success of the US team in recent history, I think that is a valid question. It might be that we should look at hiring someone that can produce the results..

    Personally, I would be all in favor of putting people on the team that at least appreciated being there. If we're going to lose, I would rather do it with someone that I at least had some connection with and felt good about supporting, rather than someone that just felt entitled to be there. Whether its intended or even fair, I think the vast majority of us peons were left with the distinct impression that the majority of US riders on this team felt entitled, and not grateful. Which might not be so hard to swallow if they had produced SOME result, but instead we were left almost embarrassed that those performances were apparently the best we could produce.

    Reality is, I think US eventing is a pretty sad affair at the moment. I agree with what appears to be the majority. Forget 2012, it's a lost cause. We need to start rebuilding NOW.

    Judy Bush

  3. Yeah, Judy, he went through the entire qualification and application process, put his entire summer schedule on hold just so he could not appreciate being there. And I take complete offense that you speak for me and how I feel about our gracious and giving team. I compete against them on a regular basis and you couldn't be more wrong. Lisa Burnett with Winston, the project and Amish reject.

  4. As one of the blog moderators.....I'd like to point out that we put up this response to encourage constructive commentary and discussion. The US produced a very respectable result through their tireless efforts & there is no shame in their final placings. Let's just keep it positive on this forum.

  5. Boyd, I'm glad to hear you voice your opinions and I respect them. And I have growing respect for you as you calmly and reasonably voice them and seem to be willing to change them. (Something all politicians would benefit from.)
    You make a very good point about sending riders and horses overseas. I'd be much happier to see stipends go to riders who want to be working students somewhere, even Europe, where they can do all the hard work and see the competition without eating ramen noodles for three meals a day.

  6. I think it is interesting that you are the only poster on the board with a real name. :) Way to defend yourself, I don't think anyone expected that. Hope Summer is behaving for you!