Boyd Martin is one of the leading event riders in the USA.
His greatest career achievements include a win at five-star at Adelaide in 2003 on True Blue Toozac, second place at the Kentucky Three-Day Event in 2019 and double gold at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, in 2019. The latter two results were both achieved riding Tsetserleg TSF.
Boyd has ridden at two Olympic Games, competing at London 2012 on Otis Barbotiere and at Rio 2016 riding Blackfoot Mystery.
He was born in Australia and brought up on the outskirts of Sydney. His mother, Toy Dorgan-Martin, was a speed skater from Illinois, while his Australian father, Ross, was a competitive skier. The pair met at the 1968 Grenoble Winter Olympics.
After school, Boyd became a working pupil with Heath Ryan, who has ridden at championship level in both eventing and dressage, spending about eight years based with Heath.
Boyd first visited the US in 2006 to ride at the Kentucky Three-Day Event – he finished 11th on Ying-Yang-Yo – and six months later he moved back to the US for good.
“As soon as I got here, I looked around and thought, ‘This is the promised land.’ I knew as soon as I went to the first event here that I’d stay forever,” he says.
Boyd and his wife Silva have two sons, Nox and Leo.
Where is Boyd Martin’s farm?
Boyd rents a yard in Aiken, South Carolina, for the winter, and spends summers at his farm in Unionville, Pennsylvania.
Wasn’t there a fire at Boyd Martin’s yard?
After he moved to the US, Boyd initially worked for Phillip Dutton – another Australian-born rider who now rides for the US – before setting up on his own. Soon after Boyd and Silva started renting a barn from Phillip, in the summer of 2011, it burnt down and six horses died.
Boyd and Phillip went against the fire chief’s advice to enter the burning barn and rescue Neville Bardos, the ex-racehorse who had been Boyd’s first championship horse when he finished 10th individually at the 2010 World Equestrian Games (WEG).
“The fire was horrible,” says Boyd. “We’d just broken out and started working for ourselves, and everything had just started to click into gear. To have the whole barn burn down, so many horses die and be injured after their owners had placed them with us – it was just disastrous.”
What nationality is Boyd Martin?
In 2008 Boyd Martin decided to change nationality to ride for the US.
Boyd admits it was a hard decision to switch nationality: “Growing up watching legends like Wayne Roycroft and Matt Ryan, I always dreamed of representing Australia. Each day Heath would be teaching us, yelling that one day we’d ride for Australia.
“Then I moved to America and understood that I was going to live the rest of my life on the other side of the world and would make a living and profit from American owners and the American eventing system.
“It was a hard decision, personally. You have all these emotions – what are your family and friends going to think? Are the other Americans going to accept you?
“I remember going back and forth, talking to Phillip [Dutton] – who’d already made the change – in the indoor school one day. He pulled up and said, ‘Boyd, you think everyone cares what you’re doing, no one gives a crap.’ It was true. I changed nationality, it was a great decision and all my friends couldn’t care less.”
Boyd’s wife, Silva, who is a German-born dressage rider, now also represents the couple’s adopted country.