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Boyd Martin and Crackerjack, a nine-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (Aberjack x Satan’s Slave), led wire-to-wire in the Jersey Fresh CCI2* and a double clear show jump round today just solidified their win.
“Winning any three-day event is a huge high for me,” said Boyd. “The sort of focus for what I do with these horses is to peak at a CCI three-day event whether it be a one-star, two-star, or three-star. It is satisfying to have the horses peak at this big event and do well in all three phases.”
The show jumping course caused a bit of trouble as only four pairs managed to jump a clean round. “It was a good twisting technical show jump track,” continued Boyd. “It was a bit tougher than it has been in past years and you also had to move along to make the time so cut a few corners.”
Although Crackerjack ran a solid nine minute course yesterday, he was still full of running today. “He reminds me of Neville a bit – he is a very energetic athlete,” said Boyd. “Actually the biggest thing was keeping him calm, quiet and relaxed. He is one of those one that will just keep going and going.”
The late Colin Davidson’s mom, Lucy Boynton, was on hand to watch her homebred jump around the tough Jersey Fresh CCI2* show jump track with ease. Although when Crackerjack came to Boyd it was for him to sell after Colin’s death, Lucy has developed a love of watching the horse compete, so Boyd and Crackerjack will be continuing their winning partnership for a while yet.
Kelley Williams and Brazen Bomber made a steady climb up the leaderboard to finish in second place – four spots higher than their original sixth. A rail and one time penalty were the only additions to the longtime partners 53.5 dressage mark.
“We had a really good dressage test, and he was wonderful yesterday,” explained Kelley. “He came out today feeling great. I actually expected him to be a bit more tired than he was. It was a good weekend all and all.”
Holly Payne dropped a spot in the placings when Santino lowered two rails, lucky for her however her brother Doug also had two rails down so she didn’t fall too far in the standings. Holly and Santino finished on a 58.6 only .10 behind Kelley Williams.
Karen O’Connor dominated the CIC2* finishing in the top two spots when her duo of Joan Goswell’s Mandiba (pictured right) and Dick Thompson’s RF Amber Eyes both jumped double clear show jump rounds.
Mandiba, the 12-year-old Irish Thoroughbred gelding (Master Imp x High Dolly), is on a CIC2* roll after his win at The Fork a few weeks ago.
“What do you say about Mandiba?” said Karen. “I am just so happy that he is so happy to put it in a nutshell. Yesterday he was great, and today he was more confident in the show jumping then he was at the Fork, so everything is moving forward in a positive way for him.”
Finishing behind her experienced stablemate is the up-and-coming RF Amber Eyes, an 8-year-old Belgian warmblood (Liberty Son x Nathscha 5812).
“Amber Eyes is just a lovely, lovely horse,” said Karen. “She got tired yesterday on the cross-country course, so I didn’t know what I was going to have today, but she had a good night’s rest and came out and had almost a rub-free round. She is a wonderful horse for the future – I am really excited about her.”
The nineteen-year-old Connor Husain rose up the leaderboard from seven to third on his 13-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding, Piece of Hope (Feliciano x Unqolata) adding only 2.8 time penalties yesterday to his dressage score of 57.
“I got my horse in October,” said Connor. “I have just been moving up the levels and he has been really super. Coming into this weekend, I was just trying to get a nice qualifier for Young Riders this summer. It is just ended up being better than I thought it would be and we just finished on an amazing note. He is such an amazing horse, and I am very lucky to have him.”