Saturday, October 17, 2009

Boyd Martin and Neville Bardos Take the Lead at Fair Hill!

I woke up this morning to a torrential tornado-style storm and probably the worst cross-country conditions I have seen. I got a phone call from Rock On Rose’s owner Bruce Davidson that he didn’t want his mare to run because he was afraid of injuring her in the tough conditions.

In hindsight it was a heartbreaking moment for me because I knew this mare was fit as a fiddle and a fantastic cross-country machine that I truly believe would have gone under the time, but I was quite respectful of Bruce’s decision because he’s a true horseman who had a real concern for his mare. In the end we both agreed that she’d be better off saved for Kentucky next year.

Neville (pictured above) is in the lead in the three-star division after the only double clear round of the day. He’s only nine years old, still pretty young. He’s a real thoroughbred so he was really suited to these kinds of conditions; he galloped right over the mud, I didn’t feel like I was pushing him. Phillip told me to not over rider the horse in the first three minutes and try to find good footing, which meant galloping close to the ropes and if he had energy then to go on with it. The horses that tried to stay close to the first four minute markers ran out of petrol at the end.

Remington (pictured below) put in a great performance today. He was one of the last to go in the three-star and the track was truly trashed, it was knee-deep in mud. He jumped the course very well but really struggled with the muddy going and I decided just to stay off his back and not push him too hard because I felt he was laboring a bit. He finished well and pulled up very well.

I think that tomorrow it’ll be good to show jump Remi before Neville and get a feel for the course, though they’re quite different to jump. Neville’s pretty good – both of them run at the fences a bit so the key is to make sure they’re not in cross-country mode tomorrow. I hope today knocked the edge off, it might make it a bit easier if Neville’s a bit tired tomorrow! The footing’s really good in there so I don’t think that’ll play a factor at all.

I had two students in the two-star today: my working pupil Lillian Heard had a great round and is fourth in the two-star and Erin Sylvester is one place behind her in fifth. I was proud of both the girls today, they showed some heart getting out there and riding in the rain and showing their horses to their potential.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Boyd and Remington XXV

Photo of Boyd and Remington XXV compliments of Andrew Bailini

Boyd in Top Ten after Dressage at Fair Hill

Boyd is currently tied for 8th on Remington XXV and standing 16th on Neville Bardos and 46th with Rock on Rose after a wet and cold start to the Fair Hill International CCI3*. For complete results click here.

For a video of Remington's dressage test click here

Monday, October 12, 2009

Colonel Bengt Ljundquist Memorial Championships

I rode at the CBLM's last weekend: Jeff, Sea Lord and Concorde competed in the PSG championships and Comet V in the third level championships.

The third level championships was a very competitive class. Comet was such a good boy! I am so proud of him - he has come such a long way this season. We had a great warm up and in the ring he tried his little heart out for me. We scored 66 percent and ended up reserve champion!

In the PSG Championships Jeff was first on and since I did not have the best result at Devon I was really hoping that Jeff would not get too nervous this time. He did not, but I also have to say that I rode him much better this time. It just takes such a long time to find out what the best warm up is for each horse and how you go about riding each horse in the ring.

I have worked with Jessica a lot on working out how I can get the best result out of Jeff in the ring and we did much much better and scored 66.8 percent and finished fifth.We still made a few expensive mistakes in the canter but over all I was very happy!

My second horse in the PSGwas Sea Lord: the great thing about my Thoroughbred, who we call Big Bird in the barn, is that he never lets me down! However he is in the warm up, he going to be the same in the ring. And the more people that are watching, the better he goes. He is a real showman.

Sea Lord is still green at the FEI level but I was very happy with his test. He was beautiful in the trot and did not really make any mistakes in the canter; he just needs to be more supple and loose in his back. He still needs to get stronger. But I LOVE him! We scored 65 percent and finished seventh.

My third horse in the PSG was Concorde. I have only worked with Conorde for the last 3 months and he has come a long long way. We showed in our first third level not long ago and here we are in October showing in the PSG championships. He really did a good test with a few little mistakes here and there but over all very good for such a green horse. We finished 6th on 66.3 percent.

All the scores in the PSG were very close!

On Sunday I showed Jeff in the I-1 championships. Again he did not let me down, this time doing an even better test than in the PSG. I could have ridden the canter a little better - I gave some marks away being a little in untidy in some parts, but we moved up to third place! I am so happy that we are back on track!

On Sunday Comet, Sea Lord and Concorde showed in the fourth level championships.

Concorde was the first horse in the class. He was not as good as he was in the PSG on friday - I think he was a little tired because he has been working very hard. We finished seventh.

Sea Lord was the next one for me. He was great one again. That is the nice thing of riding a TB: they never give up. Sea Lord finished reserve champion in fourth level!!

Comet V who is still new at fourth level was really very good. We had the best warm up ever; he felt so great! In the ring we had a good trot and got a little tangled in the changes in the the canter. But still I am so proud of Comet for making it to the championships and finishing so great.
We finished just in front of Concorde in 6th.

Now the boys can have little vacation!


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Clifton Jade Sold

Clifton Jade was sold this past weekend to Valerie Vizcarrondo, an advanced rider from Maryland. Jonathan Pageant, (pictured riding Jade), a top New Zealand event rider, used to compete him for Clifton Stables. sent him to me to sell and he was only here for a couple of weeks. He's only eight years old and did some three-star World Cup events in New Zealand; he's a real technician, an exciting, fantastic horse and he really suits his new rider. They'll spend the next month getting to know the each other before she competes him. Valerie trains with Karen O'Connor, and Karen came to see the horse and liked him a lot too. I wish them all the best!