March 8—Tallahassee, Fla.
It’s going to be a long drive back to his wife’s hospital bedside tomorrow night, but Boyd Martin will be making the trip in style after clinching the Red Hills CIC*** win today aboard Trading Aces. And Silva, who’s recovering from a serious brain injury after a fall on Tuesday, will be happy to see her husband bringing home the bacon in the form of a one-year lease on a luxury SUV.
“Silva wanted that Mercedes Benz! When I talked to her after the class it was wonderful hearing how excited she was about it. Personally I couldn’t care what I drive, but to a classy German dressage rider, a Mercedes Benz is really something to look forward to,” Boyd joked. “I think I missed winning the car here with Neville Bardos by like .2 points a few years ago, and I thought, to be honest, it was going to happen again.”
But Boyd stopped the cross-country timers just a few seconds faster than overnight leaders Allie Knowles and Last Call, laying claim to the keys. More meaningful than the prize, however, was the sense of accomplishment both Martins are feeling about pulling off a win they both worked hard for all spring.
“It’s a very satisfying victory, because I’ve been dialed in to win this one with this particular horse since the beginning of the year,” Boyd said of Trading Aces, who Silva has also helped train and campaigned in regular dressage competitions like Dressage At Devon (Pa.).
The 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Coevers Diamond Boy—Ballyvannon Beauty VII, Leaburg) owned by Trading Aces LLC will likely be one of Boyd’s top contenders for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy this fall, but Trading Aces’ new stablemate Sir Donovan proved he may be worthy of consideration as well with a fourth-placed finish in the CIC*** here at Red Hills.
Two rails in show jumping dropped them to 12th going into cross-country, but the gelding owned by Peter Barry made easy work of the course today, posting the fastest round in the division.
Boyd currently sits fourth and sixth in the advanced division with Shamwari 4 and Steady Eddie, respectively, and he’s leading the intermediate with Pancho Villa on his dressage score of 25.8.
She Knows How To Pick ‘Em
Pancho Villa’s former rider, Sydney Conley Elliott, can take a lot of credit for training the gelding, but today she was collecting accolades with her new mount, Cisko A, who topped the CIC** on his dressage score of 46.1.
“He’s amazing horse and a very good galloper, so [any time] I lost preparing for any combination, I made up for in the straightaways,” Elliott said of the 8-year-old Westphalian gelding (Cayetano L—Rhiannon M, Ribot) owned by Carol Stephens. Elliott picked him out herself with the help of Karen O’Connor and Marilyn Little.
“He came in from Germany in August, and he was already running at the two-star level [with German rider Dirk Schrade], so we came here with the goal of us getting qualified and moving up to the three-star level [and doing a CCI*** this spring],” she continued.
Overnight leaders Leslie Law and Tout de Suite picked up 11.6 time faults today to finish second.
Tonight He’s Breathing Easy
Cross-country course designer Hugh Lochore breathed a huge sigh of relief at the conclusion to today’s rides over his brand-new track. Though he already has small things in mind that he wants to tweak for next year, the day went off quite well on the whole and saw no major accidents.
“There was no doubt that not everything was going to work out picture perfect, but I’m really pleased we got the result we did,” he said. “This was a huge undertaking for everyone. Usually you’re changing about a quarter of a course, not completely starting over from scratch, but I think we’ve breathed a little bit of fresh air on Red Hills and that we can build on for the next decade.”
Lochore also said he thought the rains earlier in the week ended up improving the footing.
“I personally would say it was a good thing. It frightens the riders a little bit, which makes them think about what they’re doing more and respect it,” he explained. “There were some softer spots, which made a lot of work for the crew, but it also showed what Tallahassee could do. Some other events wouldn’t have been able to get a course like this ready to go in time.”
Without question, the trickiest question on any of the new courses turned out to be the 5AB combination, a double of corners in the show jumping arena, which tripped up 22 of the 40 horses who started the CIC*** cross-country, including some very experienced players:
- Eliza Farren and Bantry Bays Dublin – One refusal
- Dana Widstrand and Relentless Pursuit – One refusal
- Alexandra Green and Fernhill Cubalawn – One refusal
- Hallie Coon and Namaste – One refusal
- Kim Severson and Fernhill Fearless – One refusal
- Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Fugitive – One refusal
- Kevin Keane and Fernhill Flutter – One refusal
- Allie Knowles and Sound Prospect – One refusal
- Selena O’Hanlon and Bellaney Rock – One refusal
- Selena O’Hanlon and Foxwood High – One refusal
- Jan Byyny and Inmidair – One refusal
- Julie Wolfert and Buenos Aires – Two refusals
- Erin Sylvester and No Boundaries – Retired after two stops
- Bonner Carpenter and Basco – Retired after two stops
- Peter Atkins and HJ Hampton – Retired after two stops
- Angela Grzywinski and Novelle – Retired after two stops
- Phillip Dutton and Atlas – Retired after two stops
- Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot – Technically eliminated after one stop
- Jennie Jarnstrom and Cape Town – Eliminated
- Jan Byyny and Syd Kent – Eliminated
- Caitlin Silliman and Remington XXV – Eliminated
- Katie Frei and Houdini - Eliminated
The same combination on the CIC** course produced similar results, with 14 of the 40 starters faulting there:
- April Simmonds and Sundays Best – One refusal
- April Simmonds and Impressively Done – One refusal
- Debbie Foote and Fly Me Courageous – One refusal
- Adrian Jones and Irish Odyssey – One refusal
- Lucia Strini and Sammy Joe – One refusal
- Catana Deskins and Skywalker – One refusal
- Leah Khorsandian and Pamiro W. – One refusal
- Calvin Ramsay and Hoodwink – Two refusals
- Heather Gillette and Boris O’Hara – Retired after one stop
- Caitlyn Calder and Jollyiat – Retired after two stops
- Alexandra Green and Falkonet – Eliminated
- Babette Lena and Little Oliver – Eliminated
- Hannah Bundy and D’Jion - Eliminated
- Kristin Bond and I’m Sew Ready – Rider fall
“It took a lot of people by surprise, and there’s a lot of different explanations floating around about why it didn’t work, but the bottom line was that it was just too tough a test, too early in the course, too early in the year,” said Lochore. “You may see something like this question again in the arena next year, but maybe 2/3 of the way round the course instead of at fence 5.”
Looking for full final results of the CIC divisions and provisional results for the horse trial classes? Visit EventEntries.com.