Boyd’s Post-Pan Am Commentary

I’ve just arrived back on the farm after flying home from Lima, and it’s a wonderful feeling of relief to have accomplished a major goal. Deep down, we all knew the Pan Am Games were a very important competition, not just for me as an individual but to qualify the team for Tokyo. I went armed with my top horse Thomas and after walking the cross country course last Thursday I was so relieved I had my experienced campaigner with me. Thomas gave his all in all three phases and I can’t tell you how rewarding it was, standing on the podium with two gold medals.

I had a moment thinking about how last year I contributed to losing the qualification for the Olympics with a less than stellar performance at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon. It was gratifying that a year later I was part of rescuing the qualification. It was a bit of a surreal experience, standing on the podium with my teammates.

Obviously at big competitions like this there are massive numbers of people behind the scenes: first and foremost I should mention Thomas’ owner Christine Turner. Chris and her daughter Tommie have been at every big show cheering him on. It’s wonderful being partnered with people who truly love their animal and it’s very satisfying watching their dreams come true.

I have to say, Team USA has the most unbelievable support structure. There’s no doubt in my mind that Erik Duvander is one of the best all-around coaches I’ve had the honor of working with. Dr. Susan Johns and Dr. Kevin Keane have both done a superb job managing the health of the horses, Steve Teichman is a first-class farrier, and Andy Thomas and Mark Hart have been wonderful at keeping me in one piece through it all, while equine physios Jo-Anne Wilson and Janet Gaven have done the same for Tsetserleg. Last but not least is High Performance Manager of Eventing Joanie Morris, who I’ve worked with for six years. It was sad saying goodbye as  this was Joanie’s last championship before she starts a new chapter in her life. She is loved by all the riders and will be sorely missed.

It was wonderful having my wife Silva there, I’ve said it before but I feel terribly spoiled marrying a dressage trainer! She’s put thousands of hours of her own time into myself and my eventing horses which I definitely think is a huge advantage. She flew down to coach me, leaving Nox and Leo with our wonderful nanny Susanna, and I’m terrified to look at our phone bill after Silva calling home 35 times a day to check on our wild kids!

Another huge game changer this year has been the addition of Stephanie Simpson, who is manager of our stables and head groom. I’ve never worked along someone so dedicated, hard-working and attentive to every detail. She loves the horses, particularly Thomas, and it was rewarding winning on one of her favorite horses.

I know it was only  a3-star and I’m well aware that at the Olympic Games we will be competing against countries that are leaders of the eventing world but I definitely feel like there’s momentum swinging for Team USA. It’s an honor, pleasure and privilege riding for the country. Regarding everybody involved, it’s impossible to pay everyone what they’re worth. Deep down I think America has a good shot at doing well in Tokyo, we have a good list of horses and riders, unbelievable coaching staff, and we live in the greatest country in the world.

-Boyd Martin

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