Boyd Martin Takes the Win (and more) in the CCI4* at the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park
American Olympian Boyd Martin (Cochranville, PA), came to Bromont to prepare his very best horses for the biggest event in the world. He should leave feeling fairly confident, having taken the win in the CCI4* Saturday afternoon with his Tokyo Olympic mount Tsetserleg on a final score of 52 points. He also took third with On Cue (56.1), and fifth with Commando 3 (59.3), as well as third in the 3* with Contessa (44.6).
With the event running as a ‘short format’, the dressage and show jumping phases were completed Friday, leaving the exciting cross-country as the final and deciding phase Saturday.
Given the rain of the past three weeks, it was expected that galloping times would be conservative, and riders would tread carefully. Thankfully the ground held up well, and the organizers were generous with stone chips and gravel as needed on takeoff and landings to ensure safety across all levels. Time was the deciding factor Saturday, with every FEI rider save one (Canada’s Jessica Phoenix, winner of the 2* with Tugce) adding time faults to their overall score.
“The footing ended up being fantastic,” remarked Martin following his third and final round in the 4* division. “I think the whole field just looked after their horses, when the ground got quite boggy and soft. 80% of the course was very good — it was just small sections where everyone balanced their horses and looked after them a bit. Thomas (Tsetserleg) hasn’t jumped a cross-country jump since June so he was a little rusty at the beginning, but it’s a good fitness run for him. This was a perfect run over a big course and now we’ll wrap Thomas and ‘Cue’ up in cotton wool and be in England in a couple of weeks!”
The overnight leaders, Canadian Olympian Colleen Loach (Dunham, QC) and FE Golden Eye added a total of 22.8 time faults (compared to the 18 of Martin and Tsetserleg) to finish on a final score of 54.5 and settle for second place.
In the CCI3* division, it was Caroline Pamukcu (nee Martin, Riegelsville, PA) who took the top two spots, leading wire-to-wire with HSH Connor and moving HSH Double Sixteen from sixth overnight up into second. Both added time, but Double Sixteen held it to a very respectable 7.6 faults, finishing on scores of 42.2 and 43.8 penalties respectively.
“For us, it’s important to schedule our horses for competitions where they will learn, and I always find Bromont has a hard cross-country track,” explained Pamukcu. “It’s important for me to educate these horses for the future and for Teams, not just go to local shows and win.
“[Connor] found the course easy and it’s good for him to practice in the mud. But he’s used to it – he spent six months in England last year – this wasn’t that muddy for us!
“I didn’t have to push to make the time, as I was late to go. I knew I could still win and had a few time faults to play with so we played it smart. What I love about Bromont is it’s super education for the horses. It really gets them ready for future team competition. If they go around here, I know they are ready for the world stage at whatever level they’re at.”