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April 15, 2014

Boyd Martin Withdraws From Rolex Kentucky CCI****

Phillip Dutton will ride Trading Aces around the Rolex Kentucky CCI**** for Boyd Martin. Photo by Lindsay Graham.

Boyd Martin has settled on a new course of action for his four-star mounts Trading Aces, Shamwari 4 and Otis Barbotiere as he continues recovering from a broken leg sustained in a fall at the Carolina International CIC in March. First reported by Eventing Nation, he’s withdrawn Shamwari 4 and Otis Barbotiere from the Rolex Kentucky CCI****, and Trading Aces is now entered in the event with Phillip Dutton.

“Unfortunately I feel like I could take on the challenge, but my biggest fear is not being able to do a good enough job to get the horses around well,” Martin said. “Last year I rode with a small fracture in my ankle, and I often questioned if my disappointing result [Martin retired Trading Aces a few fences from home on cross-country] would have been different if I was healthy.”

Dutton stepped up to ride the Trading Aces Syndicate's “Oscar” at Rolex, April 23-27, while Otis and Shamwari will instead focus on preparing for the Luhmühlen CCI**** (Germany) in June.

“I should be fit as a fiddle [by then],” said Martin, of Cochranville, Pa. “So unfortunately it is what it is; I was hoping to be a little bit sounder than I am at the moment. Phillip’s always been a father figure to me over here; he’s been a longtime coach and mentor. That aside, I believe he’s one of the best riders in the world, so to me the choice was easy of who to ask to ride Trading Aces.

“The other factor I have to consider is [financial]. I think it would be impossible for me to figure out the financial components to get my three four-star horses to Luhmühlen,” he added. “I’m still getting to know Shamwari, and Otis could do with six more weeks worth of fitness and extra rounds at Fair Hill [Md.] and Jersey Fresh [N.J.] On top of that, Trading Aces is in superb condition and form at the moment; he won the Red Hills [CIC***, Fla.] and [a section of advanced] at The Fork [N.C.], and the horse is purring at the moment.”

Boyd is staying fit by riding pure dressage without stirrups on a couple of horses. Silva Martin, Boyd’s Grand Prix dressage rider wife who sustained a traumatic brain injury in March is now on the upswing as well.

“She’s getting better and better,” said Boyd. “We met with all her therapists a couple days ago, and everyone is very positive about the progress she’s making. Her speech and her balance are getting better faster than expected, and her vision seems to be just taking a little more time. So that’s been a little bit frustrating—just trying to get her vision back to being great. A brain injury is one of those things, unlike my injuries, that’s going to take a fair bit of time.”