It’s the Boyd Martin and Philip Dutton Show in Bromont Following a Spectacular Cross-Country Day at the MARS Bromont CCI

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credits Cealy Tetley Boyd Martin and On Cue

There’s just no way around it

America’s Boyd Martin and Phillip Dutton lead four of the five divisions running at the MARS Bromont CCI following a spectacular day of cross-country and they would probably lead the U25 CCI2* if they were just a bit… younger.
With ten Olympics and too many CCI5*’s to count between the two of them, one does expect them to be ‘in the mix’ as they say, all things being equal. And Saturday in the beautiful hills of the Eastern Townships of Quebec, everything went their way.
Of course it’s far from over — there’s still Sunday morning’s horse inspection to navigate, where horses will be presented again to the veterinary and ground jury panel to check for soundness and ensure all are fit to continue to the third and final show jumping phase of the ‘triathlon’, where the final outcome will be decided. But for the moment, here’s where things stand.

CCI4*-L

The biggest jumps of the day (sorry, couldn’t help it) came here, in the results following this massive test of accuracy and ability set by Derek DiGrazia (who also designed the cross-country courses for the Tokyo Olympics and some of the biggest 5* events in the world.) Phillip Dutton and Azure, who sit in first at the moment, completed with zero jumping faults and just 0.4 time faults to complete on a to-date score of 36.8. This resulted in a leap from 15th overnight to current first. Sitting in second is Arielle Aharoni with Dutch Times who also added no jumping faults and 8.4 time faults to sit in second on 41.3 penalty points. They moved up from 8th. And currently sitting third is Hannah Sue Hollberg with Capitol HIM, moving from 12th to 3rd with a clean jumping effort and adding just 6.8 time penalties to finish on 42.4. Top Canadian in this highest level is Dunham, QC’s Colleen Lock with FE Golden Eye who was the overnight leader going into Saturday. They too jumped cleanly but added 15.2 time faults to sit in fourth on a score of 42.8. There’s just over one rail’s worth of penalties separating the top five, so it’s still very much anyone’s game.

Dutton when asked about his 4*-L round with Azure had this to say:

“The course was difficult, with the combination of terrain, jumps and the time that was hard to get. It was a bit of an eye-opener for [Azure] and it’s certainly the toughest thing she’s done. The terrain is undulating, you’re constantly up and down which probably takes about 15% off your speed when you’re trying to go fast. But she knows me pretty well now and I trust her, so I’m able to shave off time on the approach to the jumps as well. We’re forming a good partnership and hopefully it will grow from here.”

CCI4*-S

The smallest division of the day, the 4*-S saw just six entries, and five completions as Colleen Loach retired on course without finishing. Boyd Martin managed to hold on to his overnight lead coming in with On Cue, adding no jumping penalties and 12.8 time for a current score of 41.8. Phillip Dutton and his Tokyo Olympic mount Z added an even 20 in time to pull up from 3rd to 2nd, and Booli Selmayr with Millfield Lancando added 16.8 in time to move up from 4th to 3rd and a score of 54.9.

Full of praise for his 17-year-old partner, Martin was effusive in his review of her ability.

“She would have to be the best cross-country horse I have ever ridden. She’s just back in the swing of things and it was a monstrous 4*-short course and she just went around on a loose rein. She’s smart, she’s careful and she gallops like the wind. She’s brave, easy to turn and sees a fence in a split second.”

Of Di Grazia (known worldwide for building tough, fair and accurate tests for the level) he said: “Here at Bromont there’s coffins, banks, hills, gulleys, drops… it’s a TRUE cross-country test. And Derek builds right at the limit for each level. it’s good for us American and Canadian riders because it’s reality. Otherwise you get a massive shock when you get to international events.”

HSJ

Foto © Cealy Tetley – Phillip Dutton (USA) and Azure lead the CCI4*-L following Saturday’s Cross Country day at the MARS Bromont CCI.

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