Friday, July 6, 2012

Cross-Country Schooling at Aston-le-Walls

After a very uncharacteristic mishap last week at Barbury on Neville, I took the opportunity to go cross-country schooling at Aston-le-Walls today - a cross -schooling facility that also runs a huge events that cater to around 1100 starters per weekend. The beautiful property is owned by American selector Ann Taylor and her husband Nigel.

As you can see, the weather is harsh over here. My teammate/coach Phillip Dutton kept a close eye on Neville jumping. He had me galloping into the fences with pace, and Neville responded by jumping fantastic.

We are booked to ride in the British Championships next weekend at Gatcombe and I am praying that the weather breaks so the event can run.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Great day at Blue Goose Dressage

Zoran and Silva

Blue Goose Results: 
Duvent won fourth level test 3 with 72%
Zoran (Bonnie Stedt's 6-year-old), won training level test 3 with 76%
Benny won training level test 2 with 74.8%
Amy and Cece placed second to Benny and I with 74.2%
Hayden and Kymmy won training level test 1 with 66%
Pharis was second in his first third level with 65%
Vanderbild was second in his first second level with 68%
Cisco RRS was third at his very first show
Comet and Kymmy placed second in third level test 2 with 63%

We are so lucky that we have such nice horses at the moment. The sale horses I have are so wonderful! Elite Pharis is coming up with great scores everywhere he goes, scoring high seventies in second level and finishing second in his very first third level.

Vanderbild is only five years old and scoring high sixties in second level.
Cisco RRS is just a true gentleman: he is a giant baby but just the most wonderful, gentle personality!!
You would not even know Hayden is such a baby still. He is all business and is very honest!

Whoever is out looking for a champion to buy , please call me! All these horses are fantastic!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Thoughts on Olympic Selection

Otis having a well-deserved rest and snack!

I must admit that I am over the moon about the decision that was made yesterday. 
I am honored that I have been picked with Otis Barbotiere to represent the US in London in a few weeks. I believe the selectors have picked the right horse for this particular event; Otis is the strongest show jumper of the three, and I believe that has made the difference.

I would like to send out a special thanks to the Otis Syndicate for giving me the opportunity to ride such an awesome athlete. They have been very supporting and encouraging throughout the challenges that have been put in front of us.  I would especially like to thank Steve Blauner, who dug deep to finance this horse while I sold the shares.

There have been so many people who have helped me get to this position that it would be impossible to list them all. However I would like to mention that I would not have even come close without my wife Silva or my Mum and Dad. Yesterday was a tough day with the  announcement being the on the anniversary of my father's death, as well as Silva's Dad's birthday. It would have been great for Rossco and Christoph to be around for this.

I believe that it is important for us to understand that NOW it begins. The goal was not to just make the team, but to produce a remarkable performance when it matters, so that we can go to London and surprise the world!


Monday, July 2, 2012

Boyd and Otis Named to 2012 US Olympic Team Pending Executive Committee's Approval

USEF Names 2012 U.S. Olympic Eventing Team

RELEASE: July 2, 2012
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: The USEF Communications Department

Lexington, KY - Pending the approval of the USEF Executive Committee and the United States Olympic Committee's Board of Directors, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) named the 2012 U.S. Olympic Eventing Team.

The 2012 US Olympic Eventing Team in Alphabetical Order:

Will Coleman (Gordonsville, VA) and Jim Wildasin's Twizzel
Tiana Coudray (Ojai, CA) and the Jatial, Inc.'s Ringwood Magister
Phillip Dutton (West Grove, PA) and Jim and Arden Wildasin's Mystery Whisper
Boyd Martin (Cochranville, PA) and the Otis Barbotiere Syndicate's Otis Barbotiere
Karen O'Connor (Ocala, FL) and the Mr. Medicott Syndicate's Mr. Medicott

The following horse/rider combinations will be replacements for the team (in alphabetical order):

Buck Davidson (Ocala, FL) and Carl and Cassandra Segal's BallyNoe Castle RM
Phillip Dutton (West Grove, PA) and Bruce Duchossois' Mighty Nice
Phillip Dutton (West Grove, PA) and Team Rebecca's Fernhill Eagle
Will Faudree (Hoffman, NC) and Jennifer Mosing's Andromaque
Will Faudree (Hoffman, NC) and Jennifer Mosing's Pawlow
Sinead Halpin (Oldwick, NJ) and Carriag, LLC's Manoir de Carneville
Boyd Martin (Cochranville, PA) and the Neville Bardos Syndicate's Neville Bardos
Boyd Martin (Cochranville, PA) and Henley House Stables' Remington XXV
Clark Montgomery (Kennett Square, PA) and Holly Becker and Kathryn Kraft's Loughan Glen
Allison Springer (Upperville, VA) and Carole and William Springer's Arthur

Follow the 2012 Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team at

All Clear at the Vet Checks...Now the Wait...

All three horses were presented to the team of vets at the training camp in Gloucester this morning. Remi, Neville and Otis have all pulled up well and looked in good shape in front of a serious looking group of vets, coaches and selectors. 

The evaluations of all the horses which included ultrasounds, flexion tests, and jumping in circles were conducted in private, which made for a tense atmosphere in the barn.
Unlike 2010, when the US lacked the depth that we have today, the selectors have some serious decision making to discuss in the 
next couple of hours. Riders and grooms have been instructed to meet back at the 
barn at 5:30 pm for the announcement. Fingers crossed...

The Highs and Lows of Barbury Cross-Country

Sunday saw a great day of cross-country action at the Barbury International CIC ***. It was a very exciting format, scheduled in reverse order of go with the start list. Each rider's time was also in full display to the crowd, so they could see how close to the time each horse was.

Neville gallops in the rain at Barbury
 Neville  was early to go in the field. He ran during the only rain of the day, which did not bother him. He started out quite settled, for him, and was jumping well through the first third of the course. At the second water we jumped in awkwardly, landing flat-footed; we regrouped and kicked on for the final element, which we got to very deep. Poor old Nev caught his forearm, twisted, and I flicked off the side and got a taste of the English turf. Nev went on to gallop around the course for another 10 minutes.

 Otis was next out a couple of hours later.  He started out a little aggressive, 
but settled in after about 8 fences.  The further around the course he went the better he jumped.  I was very surprised to see that I was only 20 seconds slow as I 
approached the finish, as my plan was to go a little slower.  All in all, I was 
really happy with him all weekend.

One of the last to go for the day was Remington. The little guy set out well 
and jumped the course with ease. I tried to be economical on the turns to save a 
few seconds here and there and he finished well with 6 time penalties, which was 
good enough for 6th.  In hindsight our rail on Saturday was expensive, costing us 
the silver medal. It was great to have Ron and Densey here cheering him on.

The big vet check is today, with the team announcement tonight.  Fingers 


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Remington Clear on XC at Barbury, plus Saturday's SJ Recap

Remington XXV jumped around the cross-country clear with a few time faults at Barbury Castle for the final mandatory outing for the Land Rover US Eventing Team today. Everyone is now anxiously awaiting the big decision by the Olympic selectors....

Barbury CIC3* Final Results:
1. Andrew Nicholson and Avebury +0 41.6
2. Andrew Nicholson and Quimbo +0 49.8
3. Lucy Wiegersma and Simon Porlow +1.2 50.2
4. Oliver Townend and Pepper Anne +0 50.8
5. Tiana Coudary and Ringwood Magister +0.8 51.2
6. Boyd Martin and Remington +6 53.4
10. Will Faudree and Andromaque +0 56.0
12. Allison Springer and Arthur +4 56.2
14. Phillip Dutton and Mystery Whisper +9.2 57.2
15. Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen +4.4 57.8
23. Boyd Martin and Otis Barbotiere +11.6 60.4
33. Karen O'Connor and Mr. Medicott +14.0 66.4
34. Will Coleman and Twizzel +11.2 66.6
36. Sinead Halpin and Manoir De Carneville +13.2 67.2
39. Phillip Dutton and Mighty Nice +10.8 68.0
Boyd Martin and Neville Bardos -- Elim

Boyd sent a recap at the end of the day yesterday, which didn't make it through the mail, so here's it is belatedly... -AMH

Saturday saw another splendid day of eventing action at the Barbury International Horse Trials.  It was one of the first times that I have competed the show jumping phase before the cross-country. It was a challenge on all the horses who were a little more excited and fresh that what they usually would be. All in all, the three boys jumped well and I was pleased with them.

Neville Bardos
Neville was one of the first to go. I was happy with the way he jumped, with good style throughout the round.  I made the mistake of turning up too tight on two rollback turns, putting him too deep to two large square oxers.  He did stay rideable and careful throughout the round, but unfortunately picked up 8 faults. Argh....

Otis Barbotiere
Otis was brilliant.  With the two-star cross-country horses galloping straight past us, he was very fired up. When he gets excited, he jumps better, and he put in a spectacular round that received a round of applause from the Brits.  Yee Haw!

Remington XXV

Old Remi also put in a pearler of a round.  He jumped with great form and good scope cruising around the course inside the time.  Unfortunately, I let him get a little bit free into the third last fence, which was a combination that he just tapped down.  It hardly made a noise, and I only realized that I had it down at the end of the round when I saw it on the ground.  Bugger...

The plan for cross-country is to be a little conservative on Neville and Otis, working on their rideabiity and control, and to make them work hard up the steep hills and protect them down them.  Remi will run on a little more, looking to angle a few fences and be economical.  It should be a fun day.


Photos courtesy of Samantha Clark

Rough start to XC at Barbury

Boyd took a swim on Neville this morning in the first water jump at Barbury Castle in England, then rode around conservatively with Otis to go clear but add some time faults. Remington is still to go....for regular updates follow along the Barbury Coverage at

Samantha Clark Photo