Boyd Martin: Reflections on Team USA Training Camp in Aachen

Final gallop before heading to Tokyo. Photo: Taylor Pence for USEF

The last two weeks have been fantastic here in Germany as the US Eventing Team has undergone a training camp during Pre-Export Quarantine at the grounds where the CHIO Aachen is held each year. There aren’t many times in my life I can completely focus on a couple of horses and get dialed in on every aspect of their training performance. The time in Aachen has been invaluable for really fine tuning things with both Tsetserleg TSF and On Cue, who are both owned by the fabulous Turner family.

I was very lucky that Silva and our two boys Nox and Leo were able to come to Germany these past couple weeks. Silva’s family lives 40 minutes down the road from Aachen and Silva was able to come to the training camp and coach me on the dressage days, and she hopped on and schooled Cue and Thomas in some of the dressage sessions. She’ll fly home to the USA with the kids for about a week, then join us to help coach Thomas and me in Tokyo.

Schooling dressage. Photo: Taylor Pence for USEF

I was also lucky that Peter Wylde helped with the show jumping. Thomas and Cue have really thrived under his tutelage. Judge Martin Pluwe also gave us valuable feedback on our dressage tests. Erik Duvander is a fantastic Chef d’Equipe and he’s a master horse trainer in all three phases. Last but not least my super groom Steph Simpson is one of the most important people in my bubble. She always gives a hundred per cent to make sure the horses are getting the best of care.

Tsetserleg TSF and Stephanie Simpson. Photo: Taylor Pence for USEF

Tonight the horses board a plane to Tokyo. Obviously this will be a long and tiring journey as they are leaving from Liege, Belgium, stopping in Dubai to refuel, and then traveling on to Tokyo. Thomas is in good form and fit, strong and healthy, and I expect he will travel well. Sadly we will say goodbye to Cue, who is in equally good form, as she will ship back to America with the other alternate horses.

We still have about ten days before the competition starts in Tokyo. After their arrival it will be time to gently let the horses recover from the flight and then start preparing them for a great performance.

-Boyd Martin

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