Looks like those ice baths are paying off.
With a group of syndicate members cheering them on, Boyd Martin (USA) and Luke 140 jumped a clear show jumping round to claim victory in the CCI4*-L at the Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event on Sunday.
Dressage and cross-country leader Tamie Smith (USA), previously in first and second place, had rails down with both of her horses to end up in third and fourth with En Vogue and Danito, respectively. U25 rider Alyssa Phillips and Oskar had one rail down to finish in second by one penalty point.
Of the 41 combinations to contest the show jumping course, only eight produced fault-free jumping round—of those, just three finished in the time allowed.
Smith, while was obviously disappointed not to win after leading the first two phases, was counting her blessings at the end of the CCi4*-L. “Five years ago, I would have been doing backflips to have two in the top five at a four-long! My expectations have just risen a little bit, but they both jumped great.”
Martin, who rode conservatively around yesterday’s cross country course, said he was kicking himself for not going a little faster, but felt that it was also worthwhile to give Luke 140 a confidence-building round.
“The course was big and technical and the ground’s a bit shifty and the time was tight so you had to sort of zip around a bit,” said the Olympic veteran of Sunday’s show jumping course. “I think if the time had been five seconds slower there would have been a lot more clears because you could take a bit more time setting up for the fences.”
Martin has been campaigning the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding internationally since 2019. Jersey Fresh was their second ever CCI4*-L event.
“He’s a hot horse. He’s thrown me off a couple times!” he laughed. “It’s cold and windy and you hop on him, he can’t help himself, he just wants to run. So he’s been a difficult horse to train—he hates being alone, if there’s a gust of wind he shoots off like a maniac. He’s one of these high energy animals that is just feeling so good in himself that he can’t wait to get out there and blow some steam off.”
The world number six has 5* hopes for Luke 140. “I think he’s capable of doing a 5* after this. I’m not sure where that’ll be; he’s fit and sound, and the sky’s the limit.”
For runner up Phillips’, hot off her first CCI4*-S victory at the Land Rover Kentucky Three Day Event, Jersey Fresh was her and Oskar’s first ever CCI4*-L.
“He’s pretty good no matter what the circumstances are, I just have to ride him well and he actually show jumps better after cross country because he’s more rideable,” said the 24-year-old rider. “He doesn’t give anything too much room but he’s smart; he knows where he’s at. And it actually helped because sometimes when he’s a bit strong, like if we jump before cross country, then I’m taking time in the corners to set up but this course you kind of just had to keep coming and it worked out for him.”
Smith Celebrates Mother’s Day with a CCI3*-L Win
Smith, who became a grandmother five months ago when her daughter Kaylawna gave birth to daughter Kennedi, celebrated Mother’s Day with a win in the CCI3*-L riding Julie Guariglia’s Argentinean-bred mare Solaguayre California. Phillip Dutton (USA) finished second on Quasi Cool, and Lillian Heard (USA) rounded out the top three riding Dassett Olympus. The top 12 finishers in the CCI3*-L all posted double clear rounds.
“I’m very fortunate to have the supporters I have,” said Smith. “If anyone has followed my career they’ve known the horses I’ve ridden in the past, kind of the ones no one else could or would ride, so it’s a good feeling to have all of your hard work pay off by keeping your nose to the grindstone and never giving up.”
Smith plans to take the “super talented” mare’s development slow. “When you really think about what’s best for them, you can’t just do what you want to do, you have to think about what they’re ready for next,” she said. “I might move her up to advanced and have to move her back down, I don’t know, but so far I’ve never had her feel that anything was too difficult.”