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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Boyd Martin first or second in various divisions at Bromont going into cross country

BROMONT, Canada--Boyd Martin, the number two ranked eventing rider in the world,on June 7 after two days of dressage, is first or second in exactly 50% of the divisions offered at the Bromont Horse Trials, and in the CCI2*-L, he’s both first and second.

Lucienne Bellissimo on Dyri Cealy TelleyLucienne Bellissimo on Dyri (Photo by Cealy Telley)But it’s Great Britain’s Lucienne Bellissimo on Dyri who is leading in the CCI4*-L, laying down a beautiful test to score 26.0, a full five points ahead of her closest rival, Martin 0n Miss Lulu Herself who scored 31.5.

Allison Springer on No May Moon is just half a point behind in third on 32.1 going into what will most certainly be an influential cross-country day Saturday.

Bellissimo, who competed in the 4*-S at the 2023 event with Tremanton, is hoping this weekend at Bromont will serve as the perfect preparation, or at least stepping stone, for the next phase in Dyri’s career.

“I love Bromont, it actually reminds me a lot of being back at home in Europe or England,” she said. “It’s just a beautiful track and a typical Derek di Grazia course. You just keep riding, and if you’re riding well and your horses are trusting you, it’s fantastic. And I figured if Dyri jumps around this well, then I’m hoping he’s kind of maybe ready to have a bash at Maryland 5 Star in October. And if not then we’ll keep coming out until he is."

“The goals today were to try and improve a little bit with his canter work, both the changes and the canter half-pass, and I felt we did that," said Bellissimo. "We’ve got a bit of a different system now with the way I’m asking him for his changes. He’s a sensitive horse and can sometimes be a bit of a slow-thinking horse, and the canter’s very big. So luckily today I think it was better, a bit more reactive at the right time. His canter work, again, in the half-pass felt a bit more supple and just a little bit more letting me ride him once he hits the centre line. I genuinely think that we can get this test a lot better by this time next year, hopefully.”


CANADA is well represented in the CCI4*-S, holding four of the top five placings at the end of Friday with just fractions of points separating the leaders.

Boyd Martin on Feliche Des Rouges Cealy TelleyBoyd Martin on Feliche Des Rouges (Photo by Cealy Telley)Long-time Canadian team member Jessica Phoenix leads on Watson GS, on 27.4 penalties, with teammate Karl Slezak and his 2023 Lexington CCI4*-S winner Hot Bobo just behind on 27.6.

America’s Hannah Sue Hollberg on Capitol H I M is third and two more Canadians, Colleen Loach on FE Golden Eye and Phoenix again on Tigce, her second of four mounts in the division.

Despite the opening of the heavens during her test, Phoenix on Watson scored a personal best to take the lead.

“We’ve just kind of slowly produced him up the levels,” Phoenix said. “He’s done four four-star Longs now and a lot of Grand Prix show jumping as well. He’s obviously a bigger boy, so it took him longer to really get his strength on the flat, but boy what a weekend for him to come out and do his personal best. He’s kind of been knocking at the door for a while now, but it’s just so rewarding to bring a horse along and to have them for that long and feel them come in and be so confident and reliable in the ring.”

Martin on Fetiche Des Rouges leads the CCI2*-L going into Saturday's cross-country phase

After posting the low score of the day Thursday, Martin beat himself Friday in the CCI2*-L division with Fetiche de Rouges, a 9-year-old Selle Francais gelding.

The horse was formerly campaigned through the CCI3* level with British rider Laura Collett and Ireland’s Aoife Clark, before joining Martin’s program at the start of 2024.

“He’s a real blood horse,” Martin said. “He gallops like the wind and is an incredible jumper, and he’s still young. It felt like he was a perfect horse to bring a large group of people around. He’s a beautiful mover and he’s one of those horses that lifts a gear and gets better once you go into the ring and he starts sort of strutting around and showing off for the judges. He’s lovely and calm, but when he gets a little excited he puffs up and shows off a bit.”

Martin also sits in second with Thursday's ride Kolbeinn, on his score of 21.7 penalties.

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