Looking back on this year’s Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, I’m honestly not sure we could have done much better with Thomas. Last year he felt like a green, inexperienced horse and this year he’s a seasoned campaigner. I’ve said it before, while I don’t know that he’s the most talented horse in the field, there’s no question he tries the hardest of any horse I know.

After the 2019 LRK3DE: The Best is Still to Come with Tsetserleg

Looking back on this year’s Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, I’m honestly not sure we could have done much better with Thomas. Last year he felt like a green, inexperienced horse and this year he’s a seasoned campaigner. I’ve said it before, while I don’t know that he’s always the most talented horse in the field, there’s no question he tries the hardest of any horse I know.

I think the dressage this year was a good test but I think this is one area we can still improve. I think by this time next year, he’ll be able to put in an unbeatable dressage test. Because I was hurt this winter, Silva rode Thomas more than usual in his preparation for Kentucky and this undoubtedly improved his performance. She definitely made him more rideable and “through”, and she gets him so confident in the flying changes.

Dressage Video: https://broadcast.usef.org/coverage/2019lrk3de/0_3fmdxo9t
On the cross country Thomas is phenomenal. Looking back, he did the course easily. He was 12 seconds under the time, even with a slow route early on, and he felt fresh all the way to the finish. Again, as I was hurt earlier this year, Phillip schooled him a number of times for me. This was a lesson in itself watching Phillip ride Thomas more forward and with a lighter hand and it definitely changed the way I rode on Saturday.

Cross Country Video: https://broadcast.usef.org/coverage/2019lrk3de/0_ykk5smib

On Sunday Thomas felt really good when I schooled him before the show jumping. Richard had me jump some small fences to get his balance back after the trot-up. Thomas doesn’t give you the best feeling in the final warm-up, he’s a bit awkward, and I saw Tim Price and Ollie Townend giggling at me from the corner of the warm-up arena. I only jumped small fences because I knew I had to keep his confidence, and his fighting spirit really came out in the big stadium as he busted himself inside out to get a clear round. Something really clicked in the past month in Thomas, and he’s really becoming more reliable as a partner. This weekend he felt incredible.

Show Jumping Video: https://broadcast.usef.org/coverage/2019lrk3de/0_zad627yg

Obviously to get a horse to this level there are thousands of people who have helped me. To try and list every single person would be impossible; the main players this weekend are obviously Christine Turner who has been an absolute gem of an owner; I love Christine’s character as it really clicks with mine and the last couple of years riding horses for her have been a real thrill and honor.

Even though I mentioned Silva before, I have to mention her again. It might seem glamorous to be married to a top-level sportsman but I’m sure it’s often a nightmare. The focus and nerves at the event can definitely make you an awkward husband! Silva was there through every minute of the weekend, looking glamorous, wrangling two wild children, and coaching a number of riders in the dressage.

The third key player in all of this was obviously Thomas’ handler/groom Stephanie Simpson, who’s an unbelievably hard worker, often in the barn until late at night making sure that Thomas is perfectly cared for. Steph way more than a groom, she’s really the manager of our business. She’s an unparalleled organizer and it would be impossible to get this all done without her.

Beyond that are all my coaches, vet and farrier team, personal trainer, physiotherapist, chiropractor and a few doctors that have helped me get to the starting line.

https://broadcast.usef.org/coverage/2019lrk3de/0_2pdphl78

In the end it comes down to the horse, and this horse has got the heart of a champion. He’s resilient and has got no quit in him, and I honestly think the best is still to come.

-Boyd Martin

Here are a few highlights from the competition throughout the weekend – and as usual many thanks to all of our phenomenal sponsors for allowing us the time to connect with your business, team and supporters at the event.  We truly enjoyed the camaraderie during our visits with Ariat, Charles Owen, Majyk Equipe, Stubben, Purina, Hylofit and Smartpak.  To see highlights of all those moments please visit our Facebook and Instagram Pages!!

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Comments

  1. Incredible
    Awesome to Watch

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