It’s another beautiful day at Luhmühlen, and with CCI4* dressage not starting until 1:30 p.m. local time, Team USA took advantage of the lovely morning to get in some dressage schooling. Boyd Martin was first out with Otis Barbotiere, who is back contesting his first four-star since the 2012 London Olympics. Coach David O’Connor has been working with Boyd to get Otis to sit down more for greater suspension in his front end, and Otis was a bit argumentative about this new way of going in their flat school yesterday afternoon. He came out much more agreeable this morning, and David was extremely pleased with where they ended the lesson. Boyd and Otis are the only Team USA pair to go today at 1:54 p.m. local time.
Silva Martin is a welcome sight at Luhmühlen, and it’s the first major trip she’s gone on with Boyd since her accident in March. While she’s still struggling with her vision, she’s back to her old self in every other way, and she stayed ringside with Boyd during the flat schools this morning, manning the iPad and offering her thoughts and advice. Boyd also rode Shamwari 4, who super groom Lindsey Taylor said is really enjoying being back in Europe. He’s eating better and is loving all the lush German grass during his hand grazes; he took full advantage of the open buffet this morning while Boyd rode Otis. Shammie does his dressage at 1:18 p.m. local time tomorrow.
Boyd has a number of syndicate members here this weekend, and it’s always exciting to see a gaggle of Team USA jackets at major European events. We have to give a shout out to George Wintersteen, Gretchen Wintersteen, Gloria Callan, Fernanda Kellogg, Steve Blauner and Anne Laver for being here this weekend. Thank you for being such wonderful supporters of the sport we love! The Wintersteens’ daughter, Laura, is also here cheering on Team USA this weekend, as is Augie Vettorino, one of Phillip Dutton’s longtime owners and supporters.
Phillip also had a good school with Mighty Nice, working specifically on the canter serpentine and subsequent flying change they’ll do in their test tomorrow, as well as the half-pirouette in the walk. As you can see in the video, David had Phillip work on really holding Happy on the right through that final loop of the serpentine and into the change, and that portion of the lesson concluded with several lovely changes and a big pat for the horse. Phillip and Happy go in the final group of the day tomorrow at 4:24 p.m. local time, right after Lucinda Fredericks and Flying Finish.
U.S. selectors Bobby Costello and Debbie Furnas are here on official duties this weekend, as this is the final selection trial before naming the World Equestrian Games team. There’s definitely a sense of importance in the air, and we’re all anxiously awaiting Boyd and Otis’ test in about an hour and a half. Keep checking back for more from Luhmühlen, including photos and video from Boyd’s test. Don’t forget to follow along with Chinch’s adventures on EN’s Instagram. He made a new best friend this morning! And in case you’re wondering who has the best swagger today at Luhmühlen, it’s still Bobby: