Many questions faced Boyd Martin after he and Trading Aces retired on cross country at Galway Downs on Saturday. During the press conference after the conclusion of dressage, Boyd addressed some of Oscar’s challenges; despite being physically fit, “when the going gets tough, he mentally struggles.”
Last night, Boyd posted on his blog, giving more detail on exactly what happened on cross country:
“I set out pretty quick, as I felt like we were there to win. In hindsight it may have been a little too quick considering the conditions. We were jumping all of the fences out of stride and Oscar was feeling very keen. At each minute marker, we were well ahead. At around 4 minutes I decided to slow him a little between the fences as we were doing it a bit too easy.
“At about 7 minutes he started to feel a little tired. He kept running well, but I could feel his jump lose its power a little. We jumped through the toughest combination, which was a bounce into water, and he struggled a little to the C element. We pressed on, and I slowed the speed to see if he would freshen up.
“At around the eight minute mark (on cross-country), there was a very big ditch and brush into water. Oscar was not responding well enough to my leg, so I decided then to call it a day. I hopped off and loosened the girth and had the lonely walk back to the finish with my old pal Oscar, who had given everything he had. Funny enough he recovered pretty quickly, which is something I can’t understand.
“Obviously this is heartbreaking. He has all of the ingredients for the best event horse in the world except this one important factor. To be honest, I don’t want to make any decisions about his future for a couple of days until I get home.”
Horses have a way of keeping us guessing and, more importantly, keeping us humble. As Boyd so aptly said, “We are competing at the very top end of the sport, where it’s not meant to be easy.” EN wishes Boyd and the Trading Aces Syndicate the best as we wait to hear what’s next for this team.
Click here to read Boyd’s full blog post.