Boyd Martin has won top events all around the world, but the Todd Sandler Perpetual Trophy had eluded him ever since Bromont added a CCI4*-L in 2008 — until today. Adding 0.8 time penalties over Marc Donovan’s show jumping course secured the win with his homebred Ray Price on a final score of 33.0.
“In my book, along with Fair Hill, Bromont is the biggest and best four-star long in North America. I’ve come close a few times, but never won it. Last year after Fair Hill, I knew Ray Price was green, but he just galloped the distance so well there. Right from that moment, I’ve been dialed in for this event trying to win it. It’s a personal achievement I’ve been aiming for a long time.”
Ray, an 11-year-old Thoroughbred/Dutch gelding (Raise A Stanza X Fair Fiona, by Salute), represents the second generation of Boyd’s breeding program, as he also bred the dam in Australia before bringing both of them to the U.S. (Click here to read all about Ray’s breeding and other foals in the family.)
“The connections I have with Australia are getting less and less now,” Boyd said. “It’s great to think that a horse bred in Lochinvar has made his way to Montreal and won one of the biggest four-star longs in North America.”
Ray has been a work in progress in all three phases. He had four rails down in his CCI4*-L debut at Jersey Fresh last year, and then jumped clear at Fair Hill International in the fall, though he picked up 20 jumping penalties at the final water complex on cross country.
“Horses in this family are brilliant and talented, but they are quirky in all three phases. I’ve put thousands of hours of training into them, but they take years and years. He’s 11 and he feels more like a 9-year-old, but he’s getting it now,” Boyd said. “The show jumping isn’t about making him careful; it’s about trying to make him confident and jumping with joy.”
Boyd also sat in second place after cross country with Christine Turner’s On Cue, a 12-year-old Anglo-European mare (Cabri D’Elle X On High, by Primitive Rising), and one rail down ultimately dropped her to third place on 36.3.
“She’s a champion horse, and I consider the performance equally as good as Ray. My real goal is to try and have a bunch of horses lined up for next year’s Olympic Games. This is a stepping stone event for producing (both Ray Price and On Cue) for next year. I’ll compete at Fair Hill and see how they are looking for Kentucky, and hopefully have a few to pick from.”
Lauren Kieffer and Jacqueline Mars’ homebred Landmark’s Monte Carlo, a 12-year-old Irish/Thoroughbred gelding (Formula One X Glamour), were the only pair in the CCI4*-L to finish on their dressage score, rising from 13th after dressage to secure second place on 35.4.
To say today’s clear round was a massive achievement would be an understatement. Before today, Patrick had only jumped one clear show jumping round at long formats in eight attempts, and never at this level. Patrick’s show jumping form also deteriorated last fall when he and Lauren parted ways in their round at the Plantation Field CCI4*-S and were eliminated on refusals at the Fair Hill CCI4*-L.
After his round at Jersey Fresh last month, when Patrick pulled six rails in the CCI3*-S, Lauren made a last-ditch effort to find the source of his show jumping demons: She called an animal communicator.
“We didn’t tell her anything about him. She asked what I wanted to ask him, and I said, ‘Why does he hate show jumping?’ Patrick said he doesn’t like shows because he doesn’t like being judged by people. He doesn’t mind practicing, but he doesn’t like to be judged by people, and he didn’t understand why we had to do it. If I really wanted him to go to shows, he said he would be happy to be there to support the other horses,” Lauren explained.
“She said I needed to convince him at shows that he was just practicing because he doesn’t like that ‘Mummy acts different at shows.’ He doesn’t care about winning, and he doesn’t like to be judged, and he doesn’t like how nervous he gets there.”
So Lauren did exactly what the animal communicator told her to do. She tamped down her nerves, told Patrick that each phase was just practice, and he was there to be a cheerleader for his stablemates. (He told the animal communicator that Get Gaudi is his favorite horse because he is “impressed by her independence.”) Lauren told Patrick “good boy” after every jump in his round today, and he jumped a beautiful clear with his ears pricked.
“Us as competitors, we kind of feed off the nerves, and we like having the nerves, so it was actually a very weird exercise. I had to tell the nerves to go away and think ‘it doesn’t matter, we’re just practicing,’ and it worked,” Lauren said.
“Whatever works works, and I’ll do it because he’s a good horse. He’s so much fun. Even if he’s not great in the other two phases, running him cross country is so much fun, and even just having the practice of running a horse around big tracks — you can’t beat that.”
Looking to the rest of the CCI4*-L leaderboard, Buck Davidson and Carlevo, a 12-year-old Holsteiner (Caresino X Ramatuelle, by Levernois) owned by Carlevo LLC, jumped one of the 10 clear rounds to finish fourth on 40.3.
Karl Slezak and Fernhill Wishes, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Chacoa x KEC Galway Bay, by Gildawn Diamond) he owns with Kirk Hoppner, jumped clear to round out the top five on 48.7 as the highest placed Canadian pair.
Click here to view final scores in the CCI4*-L. You can watch the replay of show jumping for all divisions at this link. We still have final reports to bring you from the other divisions, so keep checking back to EN. Click here to catch up on all of EN’s Bromont coverage.
As one of our favorite events of the year comes to a close, we have to thank Queen of Bromont Sue Ockendon, the AMAZING VOLUNTEERS, fantastic staff and officials, and everyone who works incredibly hard throughout the year so we can enjoy this little slice of heaven.
Boyd said it best in the final press conference: “Bromont is a mega event. I’ve been lucky enough to compete at four-stars all over the world, and this is as good as any event I’ve ever competed at. The course is a real test. If you get a horse that can go around here, you know you have a horse for the future.”
Au Revoir. Go Eventing.