Saturday, May 10, 2014

Shamwari 4 finished 3rd in CIC3* at Jersey Fresh

Shamwari 4 into the Jersey Shore with Phillip Dutton
Things are going great at Jersey Fresh. Yesterday Shamwari was second after dressage with Phillip Dutton in the irons and Otis was third with Boyd riding. Silva’s recap:

We were happy with Otis and I thought Boyd did a great job considering he has a broken leg. We still have to get Otis steadier in the connection and there are little things to improve, but overall he did a really good test.

Shamwari was amazing, once again Phillip’s only ridden him a couple of times before the event and again there are little things that could be better, but especially for Phillip to just get on and do it, it was a great test. So now it’s time for Boyd to get to know him better; we know he can get a really good score in the test, and we’re both very confident in their future together.

My students have had a good weekend so far. Erin Sylvester actually had the best test she’s ridden; she had a mistake in the test and otherwise I thought they’d have been in the 40’s for sure. I’m really excited for her because the horse obviously had some issues in the dressage before – he gets tense in places and stuff like that. Previously at Rolex he had a lot of tension, but this year they were much better; she has a great partnership with the horse and this was definitely his best test.

Caitlin had really great trot work and the walk was good, it could be better. She had some mistakes in the canter, so I’m guessing she got really excellent scores in the trot to get her overall score. She had too many changes in the canter which was unfortunate because I think the judges wanted to give her better marks than they could with the mistakes, but I’m happy with her ride.

This was Ryan Wood’s horse Fernhill Classic’s first three-star and I was happy with how he went for the first time at this level. It’s not an easy test and for Ryan to go in and do so well is amazing. We’ll be working together closely for the next few months and I think we can expect big things from this horse; it’s a fancy horse and just has to get confirmed at this level.

Silva’s mom is visiting from Germany and flies home tomorrow; she accompanied her to Jersey Fresh yesterday. Also Silva is planning to go to Luhmuehlen when Boyd competes there in June.

Boyd’s take on the weekend so far:

I’m very happy with Shamwari and Otis, they’re both coming into form heading into Luhmuehlen; after watching Badminton I think Luhmuhlen will be very competitive, so both horses have to be firing from both cylinders. Both of them scored below 45 in dressage, which is a must on the international stage; both are proven cross-country competitors and we’ll be working on their show jumping in the coming weeks.
We’re at six weeks now, since the break, and my physio keeps reminding me it takes 6-8 weeks for bones to knit, so the discomfort should be getting less and less. In dressage it doesn’t really affect me now but in the jumping and cross-country it’s still very uncomfortable and painful - but it’s going to get better and better. I’m not galloping at all yet but hope to start next week; I’m very fortunate that I’ve got a good crew at the moment doing an excellent job on the horses’ fitness.

I do two hours of physio 3x/week with a really, really amazing physio, Chris Dougherty; he’s fast becoming an expert in the physical demands of three-day eventing! The majority of the time it’s on strengthening my ankle, knee and fracture site on my right leg, and he also puts me through many rigorous core strengthening exercises.

The syndicate members for my top horses, and I, have been very thankful for Phillip for competing Oscar, Otis and Shammie at The Fork, Rolex and Jersey. He’s a wonderful horseman and trainer and has improved all of these horses whilst I’ve been out of action. I also must take my hat off to Caitlin Silliman, who’s done pretty much all the dressage work on them since Silva and I’ve been sidelined. Again, I’ve had a great group of staff that have all chipped in during these frustrating times.

In the show jumping today Otis went in and jumped quite well and I stayed in balance with him. He’s a very good jumper. The biggest challenge for me right now is that I usually try to jump 400 jumps every week; a lot of riding is about feel and I haven’t got my feel back completely, I’ve only jumped two or three times since I was injured at Southern Pines and it’s been over small fences, so today was a real step up.

Erin Sylvester

My upper level girls Erin, Caitlin and Lillian all rode well this weekend; unfortunately poor ole Lil broke her wing on FYI this morning in the 2* - she has a broken collarbone and punctured lung. Caitlin and Erin both rode beautifully in the CIC3* after a disappointing Rolex, with Erin bringing home second place just ahead of Shamwari 4. 

Caitlin Silliman

I had all the girls do a cross-country schooling this week at our farm and schooled corners and narrows and keyholes and all the tricky parts; we’ll be focusing on that some more in the next month and also sharpening up our show jumping.

Caitlin and Hoku

 Photos copyright Amber Heintzberger and may not be copied or reproduced without permission

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Ready for [a slightly modified] Jersey Fresh

Coaching Lillian Heard at Rolex Kentucky
I’ve been riding full time and show jumping a lot, and I'm getting stronger and stronger, but my leg is not quite there yet. It’s hard to hold the galloping position, so my plan for Jersey Fresh is to ride Otis in the dressage and show jumping, while Shamwari will do the full CCI3* with Phillip Dutton in the irons. I plan to ride both horses in the Intermediate at Waredaca before we go to the Luhmuhlen CCI4* in Germany next month. 

All my girls are riding this weekend at Jersey Fresh: Caitlin and Erin are both regrouping after Kentucky and Lil has got a couple of really good two-star horses that she's competing. This has been a favorite three-star of mine every year; it’s basically America’s premier spring CCI3*, and it's a fun weekend for everyone with top competition and a fun atmosphere. I think Silva’s going to make an appearance tomorrow so it should be a great weekend.


Jersey Fresh Dressage Ride Times

Martin, BoydOtis BarbotiereCIC3*Fri 08:30 am
Martin, BoydShamwari 4CIC3*Fri 11:40 am

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Audio Interview with Silva Martin

Listen to Silva's very candid Interview with Chris Stafford to hear all about life after her head injury and her road to recovery.