Boyd Martin enjoyed a big pay day at the second annual Stable View Oktoberfest Advanced Horse Trials. With four finishing in the money in the Advanced division and one more in Intermediate, his rides earned nearly $30,000.
As expected, cross country time penalties shuffled the leaderboard significantly today. Boyd and Lucy Boynton Lie’s 14-year-old Thoroughbred Crackerjack posted the fastest time with just 3.6 penalties for a final score of 34.3. They moved up from seventh place to win the division—as our resident crystal ball predicted—a happy result as they look towards Pau CCI4*.
“The Stable View course is very similar to Pau. It’s a very technical, twisty track that has lots of mounds and corners and narrows,” Boyd said. “Crackers can be a little difficult to ride in that type of event so I’m glad he went down there. He was a little bit of a handful in the first section of the course but then he settled down.”
The track at Stable View was unique because the beginning and end wound through a forest of pine trees, with a beautiful gallop through an open field in the middle. While the course wasn’t huge, Boyd said, it rode difficult because of the placement of jumps.
“You have to really know your course well. There are so many trees and other level fences around. You definitely need to really walk your course and understand which side of what tree and what line you’ll take,” he said.
“It feels like you’re riding a lot faster than you really are; the fences are coming up quickly. It’s good for your riding because it makes it more intense and puts more pressure on. It really tests the horse’s rideability. You have to have a horse that is light in the hand and can turn quickly and maneuver well. That all comes down to training.”
Boyd praised Captain Mark Phillips for his design, saying his courses in the last two years have been the best of his whole career. “We’re very lucky to have him move to America and design courses for us. He’s got a lot of experience. He knows what works and what won’t. He puts a lot of pressure on the riders to get better and the horses to learn.”
Katie Ruppel and her own 13-year-old Thoroughbred Houdini’s round started off a little hairy when a spectator wandered into the path of the second fence and she was forced to make a circle. Such a thing could fluster even the most experienced rider, but not these two!
“I figured it would all be handled at the end so Hewie and I just pressed on,” Katie said. “While I would have loved to beat Boyd at his own place, I’m thrilled with my little scrapper this weekend.”
Officials witnessed the detour early on and adjusted Katie’s time accordingly. With 6.2 time penalties added they finished in second on 36.6. As for Katie’s plans for the $12,000 paycheck: “Now I can buy (Hewie) more minis!”
Katie has her eyes on the Jockey Club International in Ocala to close out the season and hopes to cross Badminton off her bucket list next spring.
“There’s a big Thoroughbred prize (at Ocala) that’s his to lose, and we love that event,” she said. “I think I’ll just keep running him carefully at CIC and Advanced and save him for the big stuff. He’s not getting any younger and I don’t want to use him up.”
Boyd blazed around clear with his other three Advanced rides. Christine Turner’s 10-year-old Trakehner Tsetserleg added 6.0 time penalties to finish third on 37.0. Blackfoot Mystery, a 13-year-old Thoroughbred owned by the Blackfoot Mystery Syndicate, added 9.6 time and finishing fifth on 38.1. Shamwari Syndicate’s 15-year-old Hanoverian Shamwari 4 took home sixth with 10.0 time to add for 39.9.
“I’ve taken my time bringing (Blackfoot Mystery and Shamwari) back this year. I didn’t do too much with them at the beginning of the year. I tried to get them fit this summer,” Boyd said. “They are two legend horses to ride cross country. I tried to be a little bit cautious with them this year to save them up for next year. They ripped around the course but I didn’t push them. I’m thrilled to be riding those two. They are very special and they both gave me great round.”
Clayton Fredericks and FE Ophelia, a 10-year-old Zweibrucker owned by Diana Crawford and Hugh Wrigley, were second after show jumping but 11.6 time penalties on cross country dropped them to fourth on 37.8. Ellen Doughty-Hume and her and Alistair Hume’s 15-year-old Thoroughbred/Holsteiner Sir Oberon matched Boyd and Crackerjack’s quick time, adding 3.6 penalties for seventh on 40.4 in their second run since Rolex.
Tamra Smith and Judith McSwain’s 8-year-old Holsteiner mare Fleeceworks Royal was clear with 12.0 time to finish 8th on 43.9. Caroline Martin and Danger Mouse had a cracking clear round with 12.8 time to add and finishing ninth on 49.6. Kelly Beaver will be celebrating tonight as she and her 17-year-old Thoroughbred Sempre Fino jumped a clear round for tenth place in their first Advanced horse trial.
Caroline Martin and her own 8-year-old Zangersheide Cristano Z posted one of two double-clear rounds in the Intermediate division to win on their dressage score of 23.5. The only other double-clear came from Hallie Coon and Shanon Baker’s 11-year-old Thoroughbred Lansdowne, who finished fourth on 30.8.
Boyd and Christine Turner’s 10-year-old Canadian Warmblood mare Kyra added 3.2 time penalties top move up from fourth to second on 29.9. Ariel Grald and Annie Eldridge’s 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse Leamore Master Plan also added 3.2 time to finish third on a 30.1.
I don’t suppose organizers Barry and Cyndy Olliff have control of the weather but it really could not have been better this weekend (it felt a bit like fall finally, appropriate for Oktoberfest!). In addition to a beautiful setting and exciting courses, it was great to see many locals out enjoying the competition and shopping in the trade fair.
“I do think this is new era in American eventing,” Boyd said, reflecting on the competition in Aiken and last weekend’s Arena Eventing exhibition in Central Park. “You have entrepreneurs like Barry and Mark (Bellissimo) that are doing a great service to American eventing, people that are making the sport so exciting and lifting the bar and standard of all events. We are very lucky to be pro event riders at this time in the U.S. It’s gone beyond what I thought possible.”