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Day 1 at Rolex – A Strong Start

Boyd is quite pleased with the dressage performances from both horses today at the Kentucky Horse Park.  This being Eddie’s first 4* appearance, he showed that he’s green at this level, but he put in a respectable effort and now it’s onto what Eddie does best, galloping cross country!

In speaking with owner Gretchen Wintersteen, she was also very enthusiastic about Eddie’s first time in the big arena.  She said several people approached her and George after his dressage commenting that he had the best extended canter of all the horses in the early part of the day.   “I think he did a fabulous job for his first time at Rolex.  He held it together.  He anticipated the canter a bit, but as owners we couldn’t be more pleased!”

When asking Gretchen about her prediction for his trip around the cross country course, she teased,  “The Eagle is really good and I’m going to refrain from too many comments about XC without jinxing him!  He loves XC and his recent move up the ladder at The Fork proves his talent.”

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Boyd & Shamwari Warming Up With Silva, Photo Credit Lisa Thomas

Shamwari’s appearance in the big arena was a great conclusion to the day.  Boyd narrowly missed today’s press conference and is closely tailing the top 3 riders (Michael Jung, Liz Halliday-Sharp & Big Phil), standing in 4th on a 44.6.  Shamwari looked like a seasoned pro in the warm up and in the arena, laying down a solid performance after his year coming back from his injury.  Boyd is feeling confident about the weekend and this horse’s return to the spotlight.

As always our friend Jenni Autry is busy keeping eventing fans up to date with Eventing Nation’s live streaming commentary on the day’s results.

“Boyd Martin and Shamwari 4 put in a valiant effort to catch the top of the leader-board as the penultimate pair to dance in the sandbox today, scoring 44.6 to hold fourth place currently.

“This is the first time we’ve seen the 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by the Shamwari 4 Syndicate compete at the CCI4* level since the 2014 World Equestrian Games, and “Shammie” looks to be in super form. It’s fantastic see him back at the highest levels of the sport!”

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On a personal note, the Wintersteens attended Roger Haller’s memorial service at the pond this evening and said it was a lovely tribute to a great man who contributed so much to the sport of eventing.  After the service many of Boyd’s owners were gathered together for dinner and it’s great to see Boyd’s Mom, Toy Martin (seen here with her grandson Nox), sister Brook and Aunt Jan in town to enjoy the weekend with supporting the team at Windurra USA and spending some bonding time with little Nox!

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Toy Martin with Nox, Photo credit Brook Martin

Tomorrow we have several sponsorship appearances with Ariat scheduled at 10am on Sponsors Row and an appearances with Shires, near the Smartpak booth. Blackfoot Mystery’s dressage is at 3:14, and then we’re off for the Smartpak Course Walk approximately at 4:15 upon the conclusion of dressage.

Thank you so much to all our sponsors and owners who migrate to Kentucky each year for this big competition and to all the people behind the scenes keeping the horses in top form.  With this being an Olympic year, the pressure is on and everyone’s contribution to the team is truly appreciated!

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