It’s not every day a rider wins three different divisions at a single international event, as Boyd Martin did today when he swept the CCI3*, CIC3* and CCI2* at the Jersey Fresh International Three-Day in Allentown, New Jersey.
Thanks to the statistics gurus at EquiRatings, EN can confirm it’s a feat no other rider has achieved on North American soil in the last decade. Boyd Martin joins an elite group of four other riders in the world who have clinched three different classes at the same international event since 2009:
- Michael Jung won a CIC3*, CIC2* and CIC1* in 2014 at Strzegom (Poland)
- Shane Rose won a CIC3* and two CIC1* in 2013 at Camden (Australia)
- William Fox-Pitt won a CCI3*, CCI2* and CCI1* in 2011 at Tattersalls (Ireland)
- Susanna Bordone won a CCI3*, CIC3* and CIC2* in 2009 at Vairano (Italy)
This is the third CCI3* win of Boyd’s career and his first since 2011, when he won Fair Hill CCI3* with Ying Yang Yo. (Boyd’s other career CCI3* win came at Fair Hill in 2009 with Neville Bardos.) Today also marked Boyd’s first CIC3* win since 2014, when he won Red Hills with Trading Aces. And one more stat for good measure: He last won the CIC3* at Jersey Fresh in 2009 with Belmont.
For Long Island T, who knocked one pole on Chris Barnard’s show jumping course to win his CCI3* debut wire-to-wire on a final score of 40.2, today’s victory made all the sleepless nights worth it for Boyd.
After pulling together a syndicate of 10 people to buy the horse from Peter Barry, Boyd took “Ludwig,” a 12-year-old Oldenburg/Thoroughbred (Ludwig von Bayern x Haupstsbuch Highlight, by Heraldik xx), to the 2017 Wellington Eventing Showcase hoping to impress the new owners.
“He got eliminated at the second fence in the show jumping, and so I basically had a number of sleepless nights and took him all the way back to Training,” Boyd said. “It really took me a long time to click with him.”
Boyd credited Richard Picken with helping him develop a winning strategy for the horse. “The way I like to ride horses is quite loose and open and free, and Richard said, ‘Look, if you want to get this horse going, you’re going to have to completely become a different rider for this horse and learn to package him.’ … It took a long time, but towards the end of last year I started to get more confident with him, and we’re in business now.”
As for Christine Turner’s Kyra, who jumped a beautiful clear show jumping round in the pouring rain to win her first CIC3* on a final score of 34.6, Boyd said he always thought the 11-year-old Canadian Warmblood mare (VDL Ulando H X Wellesley, by Weltstern) was a bit too careful to be competitive at the highest level.
“I’ve been very fortunate that Erik Duvander has helped me a lot on cross country with her and been very helpful trying to get her bolder and braver and jumping out of stride,” Boyd said. “I didn’t rate her that much to start with, but now she’s one of my best horses.”
Boyd also piloted Christine Turner’s On Cue to a wire-to-wire win in her first CCI2*, delivering a clear round today thanks to a bit of luck to finish on her dressage score of 25.7. After a steady rain fell throughout much of the day, the 12-year-old Anglo European mare (Cabri d’Elle X On High, by Primitive Rising) took a disliking to the puddles in the arena, and Boyd admits he got lucky at the last.
“Sometimes the starts align, so I’m very happy for her,” Boyd said. “She has everything you love in a horse — the movement and temperament and scope and gallop.”
Three wins, all of them on first-timers at their respective levels, and two of them wire-to-wire. Boyd’s weekend was one for the record books.
On any other day, Caroline Martin would have been the headline to this story. She finished second behind Boyd in both the CCI3* with Islandwood Captain Jack and CCI2* with Jump Jet, and could not have been more gracious as to how the results played out.
“I just want to be consistent at the upper levels,” Caroline said. “It’s always nice to win, but Boyd has put in way more years of hard work than I have. He deserves to be number one. I just hope in the next 10 or 20 years I can catch up!”
Caroline was especially pleased to finish second in the CCI3* with debutant Islandwood Captain Jack, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Jack of Diamonds X Suir Touch, by Touchdown) she produced from a 4-year-old.
“I always said he was going to be a really good upper-level horse, so I’m just glad that my predictions were right,” Caroline said. “You don’t know until it happens.”
Jump Jet, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Captain Clover X Kilmullen Cruisalier, by Cavalier Royale) produced by Piggy French, came to Caroline on Christmas Day.
“He may not be the fanciest in dressage, but he’s very steady and he’s an excellent jumper without being too careful,” she said. “I think he has all the parts, but we’ll see. I’m going to take my time.”
Jersey Fresh marked six weeks from severely injuring her foot at Carolina International, and Caroline said she owes a great deal to her coach, Leslie Law; her “really crazy supportive parents”; and the very best support crew at home.
“It’s such a huge team and I bet Boyd would say the same — when you get hurt you realize how good the people are around you,” Caroline said. “I’m just very lucky.”
Boyd and Caroline gave incredibly insightful interviews in this afternoon’s final press conference, so be sure to click over to EN’s quote report to read more from them. If you missed our report on the CIC2* — the only division Boyd didn’t win! — click here to read all about Anna Loschiavo’s first career international win.
Thank you to everyone who followed along with EN’s coverage this weekend. Special shoutouts to Rick Dunkerton, Ann Haller, Brian O’Connor and Lisa Mackintosh for working with EN behind the scenes to bring you the very best coverage. It takes a village! Go Eventing.