Bailey Wick was able to secure his second win in the “Intermediate” section of the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series this year, this time with Boyd Martin in the irons. Back in March, it was Martin’s fellow Australian and Phillip Dutton who took home the Gold Cup after winning the CCI2* at Red Hills, but with Dutton busy with the Olympics, Martin’s taken over the ride.
“I’ve been really lucky to be riding a lot of Phillip’s horses while he’s busy with the Olympics. It’s a great opportunity and a bit responsibility keeping the boss’s horses going well!” said Martin, 28, who lives with his Silva, a Grand Prix dressage rider from Germany, at Dutton’s True Prospect Farm in West Grove, Pennsylvania, where he works as Assistant Trainer.
Martin is currently ranked third on the Nutrena Rider of the Year Leader Board with 276 points, with wins recently at the Bromont CCI2*, and numerous horse trials on the East Coast. Martin also has two upper-level horses, Ying Yang Yo and Neville Bardos, who he competed at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event this year, with Neville placing in the top ten.
Bailey Wick, a flashy chestnut gelding , performed a solid dressage test in the CIC2* (which served as the “Intermediate” Gold Cup division), but finished in 8th place at the end of the day on Friday with a 53.4. However, Martin smoothly piloted Bailey Wick around the rolling green hills during Saturday’s cross-country round, adding only ten time penalties to their total, and bumping them to the top of the division. The eight-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (owned by Acorn Hill Farm) put in a double-clear show jumping round on Sunday, despite the frequent down pours, and took home top honors for their achievements.
“I think Derek di Grazia’s one of the best course designers in the country at the moment. I rode here at Stuart last year, and though I think the course walked a bit easier this year, it definitely rode tougher.”
Martin had the opportunity to ride Bailey Wick at a few Intermediate events last year, including the Middleburg Horse Trials in Virginia and the Maryland Horse Trials, where they won the division.
“He’s a different horse this year - he’s matured so much. He’s gotten some really good experience, and is such a good jumper, and incredibly accurate. He’ll spot a narrow fence 20 meters away and lock onto it. I think in the next few years, I’d be really surprised if this horse wasn’t one of Phillip’s top horses,” added Martin.
Busy Weekend, Big Prizes
Martin had his hands full this weekend, competing Bailey Wick in the CIC2*, and four other horses in the Open Intermediate division, which he won aboard Nina Gardner’s Loose N’ Cool, and placed third on Densev Juvonen’s Remington XXV. He also competed two other horses in the OI division as well.
Since Martin usually rides up to fourteen horses a day at home, he felt like his mind and body could keep up with the stresses of riding several at the top level in competition. “It was kind of an advantage, actually, because I could get a feel for the course, and the distances, and the jumps. But it was hard when I was warming up, because I could never get quite properly prepared. I only had a small window of time to make sure they’re jumping well, and to get into the right frame of mind.”
Luckily, Martin, who had quite a number of students at the event, was able to recruit a few friends to help his groom prepare his string of horses. “I had to do quite a bit of begging!” joked Martin.
Though he was busy with his own horses this weekend, he also made time in his hectic schedule to lead a cross-country course walk sponsored by Bit of Britain Saddlery.
Martin couldn’t believe the unbelievable prizes and prize money that he received from the Adequan USEA Gold Cup and from the event as well (Stuart Horse Trials donated $7,500 to the CIC2*). “I think this is one of the best horse trials in America, and it’s backed by some of the leading equine companies in the country. This is a true reflection of the top standards of our sport,” said Martin.
This busy Aussie has his hands full in the coming months with Dutton out of the country preparing for the Olympics. “I’ll be pretty busy taking some of the younger horses to horse trials, and will compete the upper level horses at Richland Park [another Gold Cup event in Michigan] to qualify for Fair Hill this fall,” said Boyd, who also plans to attend the Spalding Labs/USEA Championships and the Wellpride USEA American Eventing Championships in September at Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Illinois.
Ronald Zabala held onto his second place position throughout the entire event aboard Che Mr. Wiseguy, his nine-year-old Begian warmblood gelding. Zabala and the stunning dark bay put the pressure on Martin and Bailey Wick on Sunday, as only 0.2 points separated the two.
Kendal Lehari and Understudy moved up from ninth after dressage to take home the third place ribbon, and Will Coleman and Twizzel finished in fourth.
For their win, Martin and Bailey Wick took home a box of Adequan, $500 in cash, Cirrus jacket, two tubes of UlcerGard, two pairs of Nunn Finer American Style boots, a three-month supply of Wellpride, two bags of Nutrena feed, Back on Track pillow wraps and polo wraps. Zabala won Nunn Finer brushing boots and a Back on Track saddle pad, and Lehari also took home Nunn Finer brushing boots and a Back on Track pillow wraps. Not to be left empty-handed, Coleman won a Back on Track saddle pad for his efforts.
Planning to compete in one of the Gold Cup events this year's Freedom Health, LLC (makers of SUCCEED® ), and the USEA have announced a new incentive program for competitors in the Adequan® USEA Gold Cup Series events who use SUCCEED® Digestive Conditioning Program® to foster optimum digestive health in their horses. The SUCCEED® Challenge Series, a specially created competition, will be run in conjunction with all 2008 Gold Cup Series events and will award more than $5,000 in cash and prizes at the 2008 USEA Annual Convention, December 11-14 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Check out the SUCCEED® Challenge (PDF) page to find out more about this great incentive, and be sure to read the complete rules and guidelines (PDF) to see if you qualify.
For more information on the Gold Cup Series or USEA sponsorship, contact Project Manager & Director of Sponsor Sales Jan Zwak at email@example.com.
Press Release & Photos by USEA Communications Specialist Emily Daily - firstname.lastname@example.org.