8 things you didn’t know about Boyd Martin, from being Olympic pathfinder to his famous parents

  • Boyd Martin is one of the US’s leading event riders – a double Olympian who is a regular winner on the national circuit and a successful occasional raider in Europe.

    We find out more about him…

    1. Boyd was the first rider into the dressage arena and on the cross-country course at the London 2012 Olympics, riding Otis Barbotiere. The pair had a good cross-country round with just 3.6 time-faults, but dreams came unravelled the next morning when it transpired the horse had “twisted his ankle and was lame. “That stings pretty hard. To start with all you’re dreaming of is going to the Olympics, but actually going to the Olympics and not doing as well as you’d hoped is worse than not going with hindsight,” says Boyd. “So that one hurt a bit – to go there and do well, but fail in a weird way, with circumstances that were out of your control.”

    2. Boyd’s mother Toy and father Ross were both winter Olympians, his mother in speed skating for the US and his father in cross-country skiing for Australia.

    3. His wife Silva is a grand prix dressage rider. German-born, she now rides for the US and has represented her adopted country at Nations Cup level.

    4. Boyd is the current US national champion after finishing best of the home side at last year’s Kentucky Three-Day Event, riding his current top horse Tsetserleg TSF.

    5. In 2011, the barn that Boyd and Silva were renting at Phillip Dutton’s property burnt down and six horses died. The ex-racehorse Neville Bardos (pictured) was one of the horses trapped in the barn and his throat and lungs were so badly damaged by smoke inhalation that it was initially thought he would have to be retired. But he fought back to finish seventh at Burghley just three months after the fire.

    6. Boyd has ridden at Badminton once, when he fell with Cracker Jack in 2016, but was considering coming back this year before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

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    7. The double Olympian had several injuries during the 2019 season – he broke his collarbone and his pelvis, as well as tearing the abductor muscle off his hip completely on one side and half off the other side, which required a major operation.

    8. He says his wife has influenced what sort of horses he likes: “I’m married to a German but I’m from Australia, so I like thoroughbreds. That blend between a German sport horse and a thoroughbred would be my ideal type of animal. A lot of the horses I’m buying now are from Germany.”

    Don’t miss our full interview with Boyd in this week’s issue of H&H magazine (dated 26 March). 

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