Martin and Long Island T Clinch 2019 USEF National Advanced Horse Trials Championship Title
The $60,000 Adequan® United States Eventing Association (USEA) Advanced Final came to an exciting conclusion on September 1 at the 16th annual USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds. The Advanced division also serves as the USEF Advanced Horse Trials National Championship, and Boyd Martin and Long Island T claimed top honors, earning the legendary Jack Le Goff Trophy as the U.S. champion.
Martin of Cochranville, PA, and Long Island T Syndicate’s 13-year-old Oldenburg/Thoroughbred gelding took the early lead following the dressage phase and never relinquished their hold on it. Martin and Long Island T produced a lovely dressage test to collect a score of 25.6. Next, they tackled Derek di Grazia’s challenging cross-country course. While no pairs caught the optimum time, Martin and Long Island T had the fastest round of the division, tallying 6.4 time penalties.
A thunderstorm delay pushed the show jumping start time back to be under the lights in Rolex Stadium. Despite the added challenge, Long Island T rose to the occasion with Martin in the irons. The pair had an excellent double-clear round to finish on a score of 32.0.
“He jumped fantastic. I was a little bit nervous; I have never jumped him under lights before. He has been a little bit suspect in the show jumping early on, so I was a bit traumatized from early days with him,” Martin explained. “But to his credit, he went in there and he jumped like a buck. He really went in there, tried, he wasn’t spooky. I couldn’t be happier with the horse; he was giving me everything he’s got this weekend.”
The AEC and national championship experience didn’t faze the up-and-coming Long Island T and seemed to come just as he was peaking for the season. Martin praised the experience for the horse’s education and future preparations.
“I think this is the mecca for horse sports down here in Kentucky. Obviously the only other time I have competed here for eventing was in April for Land Rover [Kentucky Three-Day Event],” Martin said. “To come to a special venue like this, especially with some of the younger horses, is a real privilege. Also, with one of the best [cross-country] course designers in the world, Derek di Grazia, you know you are going to get a good, strong, fair track. Obviously, I did come here to try and win, but more to prepare the horse for Fair Hill at the end of the year, and I felt this was one of the perfect building events.”
In the United States Equestrian Federation Advanced Horse Trials National Championship, Phillip Dutton of West Grove, PA, claimed the reserve-champion and third-place honors with Z and Fernhill Singapore, respectively, as the next highest-placed U.S. finisher. Dutton and Z, an 11-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Thomas Tierney, Simon Roosevelt, Suzanne Lacy, Ann Jones, and Caroline Moran, demonstrated their strong partnership by finishing on a score of 42.0. Dutton guided Fernhill Singapore, a 10-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Ann Jones, Thomas Tierney, and David Vos, to a top finish with a score of 48.2.