Tsetserleg Wins The Fork CCI4*-S

Christine Turner (L) and Boyd celebrating with Tsetserleg back at the barns.

Boyd and Tsetserleg brought home the win in the CCI4*-S at The Fork Horse Trials at Tryon International Equestrian Center, Presented by Lucky Clays Farm. On Cue, also owned by Chris Turner, had an easy canter around to finish 15th in the same division.

In the Advanced Test A, Long Island T, owned by the Long Island T Syndicate, was first after dressage but finished 2nd overall with some time penalties. Contestor, owned by Denise Lahey and Pierre Colin, finished 4th in the Advanced.

Boyd shared his thoughts on the cross country course, located on the former White Oak Golf Course, which was also used for the 2018 World Equestrian Games where he and Tsetserleg represented the U.S.A. on the Land Rover US Eventing Team.

“It’s not as easy to ride as you’d think because it’s an old golf course, and there’s a lot of little humps and lumps. Sometimes it’s a bit deceiving, especially the galloping jumps because you think you see a distance, and then it changes a little bit because of the undulation of the ground. Being here in September last year, I walked that track so many times, and honestly I reckon I could have walked the course once this weekend and been flying around it! It’s good coming here with a handful of horses and be here a few days to concentrate. I think it’s a great show, and a great preparation for Kentucky and a really good show for the young horses to get them ready.”

At the WEG last year Tsetserleg ran out at one of the boat fences in the water complex. Boyd said, “Everyone’s having a chuckle and making a big deal out of it. At the World Equestrian Games I got the wrong ride in, plus there was a lot of other stuff around it to distract the horse, and that wasn’t there today, so it was a little bit easier to get him over it today. But still, it was a good feeling getting over it, and I got a big cheer from the crowd. I could distinctively hear Christine Turner shrieking! She’s been a great supporter.”

With the Land Rover Kentucky CCI5*-L just a few weeks away, Boyd said, “I think Thomas is a little bit more seasoned now and a little bit further on. He’s learned a lot in the past 12 months; he’s not so distracted, and I’ve learned how to ride him a bit differently and a bit better too. It was good to have a win because I’ve had a bit of an awkward start to the year, a bit injured here and there and missing a few shows. It was good to win one, but to always remember that some of the best horses here chose to run a little bit slow to prepare for Kentucky. We’ve still got a little bit of work ahead of us, but he was good in all three phases.”

Boyd broke his collarbone hunting in Aiken over the winter. Regarding his preparation for Kentucky after being sidelined with a broken collarbone for several weeks, Boyd said, “I missed a bunch of events, and I haven’t really had a chance to blow him out. I didn’t go flat out to be honest. I thought, ‘He needs a good run and a bit of a fitness run, but not to go so fast that you risk injury.’ He felt very strong around the whole track, and he feels very fit. He jumped really well. I think we’re in good shape, and hopefully he comes through this alright, and we start perfecting his dressage test and keep an eye on his show jumping, but I’m pretty confident in the cross-country. At Kentucky, anything can go wrong; it’s a big, long track, and even a very good horse and rider can have a slip up, so we’ve still got a mission ahead of us.”

 

Of Long Island T, who will be competing at Kentucky for the first time, Boyd said, “He gave me a good ride. He’s a little bit greener than Tsetserleg, and he’s a very strong, feisty wild man. He still jumped really well, but he’s definitely a little bit too keen. I think he’ll be better suited to Kentucky because it’s a longer, more flying course where I can get him to fall asleep a little bit more in between fences. He’s very strong in the dressage and show jumping. Cross-country he’s very game, but he gets strong and a little bit out of control, so he’s a hard horse to ride fast.”

Big thanks to Lindsay Berreth of The Chronicle of the Horse for sharing Boyd’s quotes from today’s press conference.

[RESULTS]

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