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The Chronicle's Horse/Horseman Of The Year

January 9, 2012

Boyd Martin: Horse And Bone-Breaking Expert

Given his success in European CCIs in recent years, it's easy to forget that at 32, Boyd Martin has spent the majority of his life riding in far less prestigious settings. In fact, it's experiences like breaking horses in Northern Japan and breaking bones in the Australian Outback that made Martin the horseman he is today—the Chronicle's 2011 Overall Horseman of the Year.

February 14, 2011

Eventing Horseman Of The Year: Boyd Martin

The buzz about Boyd Martin began the minute he stepped off the plane from Australia in 2006. Who was this rakishly handsome, antipodean-accented 20-something bombing around Rolex Kentucky on a scrappy 7-year-old off-the-tracker? What was Phillip Dutton thinking, hiring as his new assistant trainer a kid best known for his drunken visits to tattoo parlors and horse auctions—from which he always returned with an unintended purchase? And was there any way in hell this character was going to make his pipedream of riding on a U.S. team by 2010 come true?

February 7, 2011

It Was A Year Of Many Ups And Some Real Downs

Our columnist looks back at the best and worst of the year in show jumping.

It was no secret that the U.S. team was a strong favorite to be in the running for a medal at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (Ky.). As the defending Olympic team gold medalists, U.S. riders have moved from strength to strength on the international stage. The team’s disappointing results at the WEG were not a reflection of the usual form of U.S. riders against strong international competition.

February 7, 2011

Our Driving Programs Are Better Than Ever

On the heels of the WEG, our columnist sees new trends and programs shaping up to improve drivers at all levels

Now that the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games are over, the big question in the driving world is, “What now?” We concentrated so much of our attention and energy during the months leading up to the WEG that it was almost a letdown once it was over.

February 7, 2011

A 50-Year Retrospective On Sport Horses

In late Autumn it gets dark and cold early in Lincoln, R.I., and by the time Joe McLaughlin and I pulled into Lincoln Downs one day in early December, 1961, the track was black except for a few flickering bulbs which did little to dispel the murk along the partially deserted shed row on the back side of the racetrack.

February 7, 2011

We Worked Hard Finding Our Footing In 2010

The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games were the center of our attention, but we faced more than that.

Stormy weather and bumpy rides were the trademarks for American dressage in the first third of 2010. Accidents and poor health riddled our best and brightest, and bad luck often accompanied us.

February 7, 2011

We See Opportunities, Not Disappointments

There were certainly many highlights in equestrian sports this year, as well as some disappointments. Being optimists, we think that the disappointments often turn out to be opportunities once you get past the initial emotion of the situation.

This year we witnessed the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games on our home turf. Yes, show jumping and eventing experienced some problems and did not produce the hoped-for results, but other sports such as vaulting, reining, dressage and driving really stepped up their games and proudly represented equestrian sports on the awards podium.

February 6, 2011

Show Hunter Horseman Of The Year: Scott Stewart

Scott Stewart may not spend much time in Las Vegas, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a gambler. He’s one of the few hunter trainers who regularly takes chances on young horses, often importing them from Europe as yearlings or 2-year-olds. His slightly unusual system pays off—almost every horse he rides into the ring is a top competitor, and they all do it in the same classic style. You can point out a horse and say, “That’s a Scott Stewart type,” and if the horse moves well, jumps beautifully and looks good to boot, you’d be right.

February 6, 2011

Driving Horseman Of The Year: Tucker Johnson

When Tucker Johnson drove his horses through the final gate at the final obstacle in the final marathon of his career at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, he stood up in his carriage and saluted the crowd. After 25 years of competing at the highest levels of combined driving, Johnson was finally hanging up his whip.

“Tucker has been a real showman and a real promoter of the sport, and there’s something
in his personality that really attracts and appeals to the crowd,” said Edward Young, the chef
d’equipe of the U.S. combined driving team.

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