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Boyd and Eddie Tenth at 2017 Burghley CCI4*

Boyd and Steady Eddie on cross country. Nico Morgan photo

Looking back on the Burghley Horse Trials CCI4* in England this year it was without question and epic event. I’m pleased to say that Steady Eddie finished 10th against some of the best in the world over one of the toughest cross country courses I’ve ever ridden. Although the competitive side of me is looking back over every phase and thinking of all the places I could have done better, tenth place is still a good result.

George and Gretche Wintersteen at Burghley

I must give a huge thanks to Eddie’s owners Denise Lahey, Pierre Colin and George and Gretchen Wintersteen for backing this horse over the past six years or so. Eddie’s had a lot of highs and lows in his career and not once have these owners ever questioned my training with the horse, and it was rewarding to see how happy they all were at the completion of the event today.

This weekend I had three unbelievable coaches: in dressage Silva once again did an extraordinary job of getting a great test out of Eddie and me. On cross country day the new US Team cross country coach Ian Stark did a wonderful job preparing all of us American riders for the massive course and today Richard Picken, who’s been a huge influence on my jumping riding, did a tremendous job getting us through a tough show jumping course. I’d also like to thank the US chef d’Equipe Joanie Morris, who had the brutal task, worse than herding cats, of organizing all eight US horses to compete at Burghley. She did a fantastic job.

Yesterday was probably our best ever cross country round: it was obviously a huge test that saw riders like Andres Nicholson, Mark Todd and Michael Jung struggle, and I really feel like Eddie’s and my performance benefited from the changes that have been made in the US approach to cross country riding and training. Phillip Dutton has taken the bull by the horns and really stepped up his cross country coaching, which has hugely impacted Eddie and me. I feel like there’s a huge push for our improvement in this phase and having three Americans finish in the top 12 I think is a reflection of this.

Eddie really tried hard the whole way around the course. It was relentless and Eddie dug deep. He lost both front shoes and cut his leg open, which required 15 staples after he finished, but in spite of these odds he soldiered on. I have so much admiration for this horse’s courage and heart and the way he fought hard the whole way around. I misjudged my time a bit and picked up two time penalties which was a bit frustrating after such an epic performance on Eddie’s part.

Because there were so many US horses competing, the team flew over Dr. Susan John, who is absolutely awesome at these big competitions. Even after all he’d been through, Eddie came through remarkably and turned up at the trot-up this morning in good shape. Praise must also go to my groom Mike Pindleton who did a great job caring for Eddie all week.

Show jumping was a big course on the grass and Eddie did feel a bit rattled; he was a bit green and spooky and had fence five, the white gate, down. Then he jumped really well but got a bit quick and flat at the last fence and just toed it, bringing it down, which stung a bit because he’s a great show jumper and a clear round would have been very profitable in the final standings.

I think Team USA should be proud of their performances; we had three riders in the top 12 and by my calculations if this was a Nations Cup the US would have finished in Team Silver, which is an incredible effort. I really feel like the US team as a whole is uniting and coming forward. There have been a number of armchair experts mouthing off on Facebook criticizing the new direction of the team and I’m looking forward to their public apology on social media after this wonderful result by the Stars and Stripes.

-Boyd

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Comments

  1. Excellent

    So happy for you and Eddie Boyd

    What an accomplishment

    Enjoyed the live feed

    Wish I could have been there cheering you and all the USA riders

    Super

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