Boyd Martin thought Phillip Dutton did “bloody well” today in stepping up to take over his rides while he’s sidelined with a broken leg following a mishap at Carolina International. In addition to piloting his own mounts Mr. Medicott and Mighty Nice into the top five in the Advanced, Phillip had a very nice test with Trading Aces in that division to sit tied for second place overnight on a score of 29.7. And he also had a very respectable test on Otis Barbotiere, who is continuing his comeback following an injury at the London Olympics, in the Intermediate.
And here’s the kicker — he just rode the horses for the first time yesterday. As Boyd says in the interview above, the fact that Phillip could hop on these two — neither of which is known to be a particularly easy ride — and produce such good results is a real testament to the caliber of his riding. Phillip said the horses are so well trained and well schooled that it wasn’t a difficult task, and that speaks to the prior work Silva Martin has done with them, as well as Caitlin Silliman’s excellent schooling in the past two weeks while Boyd has been laid up.
Mr. Medicott and Mighty Nice — Phillip’s rides for Rolex this year — have both had some rather exuberant moments throughout the start of their spring season, and he said he was very pleased with how they settled today and really focused on the task at hand. Phillip said he chose to do the Advanced and not the three-star because Advanced Test A has many similar parallels to the test at Rolex — and many riders have been telling me they chose to do the Advanced for the same reason. Marilyn Payne has kindly offered to review tests with the riders to determine where they could have earned extra marks.
And everyone will be relieved to know Silva continues to improve. She’s back to teaching lessons now, and even though her limited visibility at this point in the healing process makes it difficult for her to see, Boyd said the return to normalcy has been a real godsend. She continues to undergo six to seven hours of therapy a day at Bryn Mawr, and her speech is showing marked signs of improvement each day. The eyesight and visibility will follow in time, Boyd said, who remains extremely positive she will experience a full and total recovery.
As a side note, Phillip had originally been scheduled to ride Peter Barry’s Sir Donovan in the CIC3* this weekend, as Boyd has been aiming the horse for Rolex and a potential run at the World Equestrian Games team. But Sir Donovan was sold earlier this week to Philippa Humphreys, a rider out of Michigan who has successfully competed to the two-star level. Boyd said he wishes Philippa all the best in her new partnership with Don. Phillip still has one more ride for Boyd tomorrow — Shamwari 4 in the CIC3*. Stay tuned for much more from The Fork.
Video of Phillip Dutton and Trading Aces courtesy of Thehorsepesterer: