The US autumn five-star is just weeks away (19-22 October), so it seems like an appropriate time to revisit the past Mars Maryland 5 Star winners.
Let’s remind ourselves how things panned out at the first two runnings of the event…
2021: Boyd Martin and On Cue
A home-side combination were the first Maryland 5 Star winners when Boyd piloted On Cue to a clear round in the showjumping to move up from third overnight.
On Cue is British-bred, from the dynasty raised in Yorkshire by Alyse Clancey and her daughter Jolyse Bell-Syer (née Clancey).
By Cabri D’Elle, she is a great granddaughter of the Clanceys’ foundation mare Augermist (by the Hanoverian Augermann, out of a mare by a thoroughbred sire), whom Alyse competed at Badminton Horse Trials and Burghley Horse Trials. On Cue’s dam On High competed to current three-star level, while her grand-dam On Song was a junior team bronze medallist in 2004 under Jolyse.
On Cue was 15 years old at the time of her Maryland 5 Star win, but she didn’t do an FEI event until she was 11 and only tackled her first five-star at Kentucky Three-Day Event in the spring of 2021.
“I’m on the best horse in the world, she’s flamboyant, she’s a mover, she digs deep and fights for you,” said Boyd after his win.
The US rider went to Maryland feeling he had a good chance, particularly as On Cue was very fit, having been prepped for the Olympics as Boyd’s reserve horse and then built up again for this.
This was a local victory because Boyd is based just 20 minutes down the road from Maryland – he initially joked that his wife, grand prix dressage rider Silva, was cooking him dinner every night, but it later transpired the woman who has been by his side for 15 years was away competing herself that weekend. But there was no doubt this triumph was hers as much as his.
“She’s worked so hard with On Cue and been there every step of the way – we’ve had ups and downs and I’m lucky to be married to someone who helps me every day,” said Boyd.
This was Boyd’s second five-star victory – 18 years after he won Adelaide – and the first US five-star victory for 13 years, looking back to that other Australian-turned-American Phillip Dutton’s Kentucky win in 2008. Boyd credited Australia for giving him his “work ethic and horsemanship” but he fell in love with America and having moved over in 2006, changed nationality in 2008.
2022: Tim Price and Coup De Coeur Dudevin
The New Zealand rider became the second of the Maryland 5 Star winners, his fifth five-star victory, in the middle of a purple patch that included winning two bronze medals at the World Championships and moving up to world number one.
“I’ve had some fantastic days at the office, but I think this beats them all,” he said after taking the $100,000 (£89,000) first prize. “I’ve had my good results, but to me it’s felt like flashes in the pan – I’ll have a good result, and then I’ll have a few mediocre results – but I’ve been really consistent this year. I had a great year in 2018, but this feels like something else.
“I’m taking full advantage of some cracking horses and that’s really what it boils down to for me – to let these horses show how good they are and do my bit to let that happen.”
Tim’s ride Coup De Coeur Dudevin, who is owned by his breeder Jean-Louis Stauffer, was tackling his first five-star after just one four-star long run. Produced by Chris Burton, he moved to Tim’s wife Jonelle when Chris transferred to showjumping, and then to Tim for the 2022 season for a better size match.
The pair were second after dressage, moving up when Woods Baughman and C’est La Vie 135 didn’t complete the cross-country. They showjumped clear with just 0.8 of a time-fault.
“I came here with a hope of a top five, but understood there might be a couple of things that showed his lack of experience and we were able to have those while keeping a nice low score,” said Tim after his win.
Of his fault-free cross-country round, he added: “I always start in a nice quiet rhythm, I build it in the middle and I reap the harvest at the end, but I exaggerated that and was very slow at the start and just let him pop around.”
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