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Making the WEG Team is Just the Beginning

Boyd Martin at the site of the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, NC. Photo Copyright Amber Heintzberger

First and foremost I would like to say how proud and honored I am to have been selected to represent the USA at this year’s World Equestrian Games with Christine Turner’s Tsetserleg. In my eight years representing the USA, this was by far the hardest team to get on. Compared to other countries America has a lot of depth, and we have a strong contingent waiting to step up if a team horse is sidelined. In my opinion the selectors had a tough job this year choosing from such a vast pool of talent.

Chris Turner sent me Thomas a few years ago and to be quite honest, when I first started with him he didn’t blow me away. Initially I felt he was a bit pony-like and didn’t show me much extravagance in training at home. My opinion completely turned around when I took him to his first show; this little horse loves competition and when he’s in the spotlight he grows to about 18 hands and gallops as fast as any racehorse and jumps like an absolute stag.

In the past few months we’ve really started to test Thomas. At the 3* last year at Fair Hill he showed a lot of grit and determination and this spring he rocketed around Kentucky like it was nothing. The exciting factor is that he’s still on the upward curve of improvement and the work he’s putting in at home suggests to me that we will put in a Personal Best when it’s time to shine at Tryon in September.

I’m grateful to the coaches putting in time with me and Thomas: my wife Silva in the dressage, Richard Picken in the show jumping, Phillip Dutton for cross country and new US Team Chef d’Equipe Erik Duvander, who is a key part of our program from management to fitness and training. Last but not least Dr. Kevin Keane has been looking out for Thomas’s health and touch wood he’s been a very sound, keen horse that has showed that he’s quite durable.

Thomas is Trakehner with a lot of Thoroughbred in him; the cross country course at Tryon will need them fit – not only are we perfecting our dressage and jumping but really honing his fitness. Our fitness program is overlooked by Erik Duvander and it’s important we use the next couple weeks to put in that baseline of fitness, then in the last month before WEG we’ll change over to more fast sprint work to make sure he’s quick and his lungs can take sudden bursts of of acceleration. Once a week he’s also going for a swim at Maui Meadows, and he gets on an Aquatread at my Ecuadorian friend Ronald Zabala’s for an hour once a week.

Like every time I have a big championship coming up, as soon as the team was announced I stopped drinking alcohol and started concentrating on how much I’m eating. Being summertime it’s easier to lose weight and I’ve been working with my personal trainer once or twice a week on my core fitness. It’s important when you get to a championship to feel you’ve given everything you’ve got to the contest.

Including Olympics, WEGs, Pan Ams and Nations Cup I think this is the 10th American team I’ve been picked for and I believe it’s an absolute privilege and a huge amount of pressure to produce the goods for the country. I’ll be throwing everything that I’ve got to pull out the performance of a lifetime, and I truly believe Team USA will be on the podium in September. Now the work begins….

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Comments

  1. So Excited for You and Thomas and all involved

    Go Team USA

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