Thoughts on Olympic Selection

Boyd is back in the USA and has had a couple of days to let it sink in that he’s heading to Rio this summer. Here are his thoughts:

I was nervously waiting in Germany for the phone to ring on Monday. I knew I was in with a good chance on Blackfoot Mystery, but you obviously never know what the selectors are thinking. I was very pleased and thankful that Red and I got the call-up. He’s been in sterling form this year and I really feel like we’re on track to put in a personal best performance at the Olympic Games this summer.

2016-04 RedRolexDressage

Blackfoot Mystery at Rolex Kentucky 2016, copyright Amber Heintzberger

Obviously this will be the biggest competition of my life and I’m so thankful to all the people that have helped me get to this point. All the guys that work for me day in and day out, the huge band of owners that have got behind all of the horses, supporting the dream of top-level competition, my sponsors, coaches, and last but not least my wife Silva and each of our families.

Looking back, the London Olympics brings up funny emotions for me. It was great to represent the US, but it was a competition I’d rather forget – Otis picked up an injury and was unable to complete the competition, so I’ve been waiting patiently to redeem myself and put those memories to rest.

There’s been a lot of news in the media about some of the problems the Olympics are facing in Rio: the Zika virus, logistical nightmares, corruption, pollution. To be perfectly blunt, I haven’t even thought about these issues because it wasn’t until this moment that I considered myself going. I’m sure everyone will do an outstanding job looking after athletes, coaches and owners. Also, it seems like I’ve been through it all, already! That said, I think that Nox and Silva will likely watch the Games from the comfort of home.

Looking at the team for Rio I think America has picked the right team. We have four really, really good horses and four great riders, and a very committed coach who’s marked a plan coming into this major championships.

I think it’s great that Blackfoot Mystery is a US off the track Thoroughbred– it really shows that American Thoroughbreds have a place at the top of the sport. To be perfectly honest though, I didn’t pick Red for his breeding – I was more drawn to his character, movement and athleticism, and it just so happened that he’s an American OTTB and went through a horse adoption program. I think it’s a great story and he’s gotten a lot of attention because there are a lot of horses out there with a background just like Red.

Welcome Shadow

Welcome Shadow

 

I was elated also that Gloria Callen’s foxhunter, Welcome Shadow is my reserve horse for Big Red. This mare oozes class and has put in my best CCI performance this year, at Jersey, finishing on a 46. I think that really earned her a spot as an alternate. Both horses went neck and neck and I’m thrilled that the US team believes in this mare as well.

We’ll be doing some dressage and show jumping over the coming weeks, and the outing at Great Meadow, and will keep everyone updated on our progress.

-Boyd

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