Boyd Martin Rallies to Ride at Red Hills; Course Hangs On Despite Deluge

Phillip Dutton and Mighty Nice. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Phillip Dutton and Mighty Nice. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Allie Knowles and Last Call still hold the lead in the CIC3* at Red Hills about two-thirds of the way through dressage in the division. Phillip Dutton and Mighty Nice moved into equal second with Laine Ashker and Anthony Patch on a score of 45.0. Happy looked very keen to be back out, and it’s great to see him looking so good following a long layoff after Rolex last year. Phillip and Atlas still hold fourth place on 46.8, and Caitlin Silliman and Remington XXV moved into fifth place on 49.2.

After being unsure as to whether he would scratch, Boyd Martin confirmed he will be riding. Despite staying up in the hospital all night with Silva, Boyd flew back to Tallahassee late this morning thanks to a lift via private plane from Mike and Anne Laver. He was originally scheduled to ride Sir Donovan in the CIC3* at 11:30 a.m., but the officials have graciously allowed him to shuffle his ride times considering the circumstances. He’s now riding Don at 3:15 p.m. and Trading Aces at the very end of the day.

Jordan Culver of the Tallahassee Democrat — who is here covering the horse trials this weekend — was kind enough to call the National Weather Service to figure out how much rain actually fell in this morning’s downpour. Surprisingly, Emma Weston of the NWS said just 1.49 inches came down this morning. It seemed more like six inches when I was standing in it trying to shoot photos this morning! There’s quite a bit of flooding around the grounds, and volunteers are bringing in sand to stabilize the various roads and paths that have turned to straight mud.

Photo via Lainey Ashker

Photo via Lainey Ashker

Course designer Hugh Lochore said he’s not panicking yet about his brand new cross-country course. “It’s really a question of how much rain we get between now and Saturday,” Hugh said. “We had a deluge this morning. If we don’t have anymore rain, what fell this morning might do the ground some good. We had some pretty firm ground out there before. We spiked a bit of it, but we didn’t want to spike all of it and then have the rain come down and cause a muddy mess. I know it’s a bit alarming, but if people are a bit patient, I think it might dry up.”

Hugh noted that things always look dramatic following such heavy rains — exhibit A: the above photo of what one of the water complexes currently looks like — but he said there’s realistically not much that can be done at this point. “If this was Saturday, we wouldn’t be running,” Hugh said. “But it’s Thursday, and we have a great forecast for the rest of the weekend. I want to get through today before making any decisions about how to maintain the course.” Go Red Hills!

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