Martin and Tsetserleg Lead Land Rover/USEF CCI5* Eventing National Championship after Dressage

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg (Photo by Alex Banks for US Equestrian)

Defending champions Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class first at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

Lexington, Ky. – In front of a home crowd of over 11,600 spectators, Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg earned a 27.9 after their dressage test to launch them into first place in the Land Rover/USEF CCI5* Eventing National Championship presented by MARS EQUESTRIAN as the leading U.S. combination at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by MARS EQUESTRIAN (LRK3DE). Sitting third overall, Martin sits behind a duo of riders from Great Britain, Piggy French and Quarrycrest Echo in second on a score of 27.1 and LRK3DE defending champions Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class in first on a score of 24.1.

With both the LRK3DE and CCI5* national championship titles on the line, U.S. combination Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z, The Deniro Syndicate and Ocala Horse Properties’ 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, head into cross-country sitting tied for fifth overall and second in the national championship after their Thursday dressage score of 30.9. Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) and Z, an 11-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Thomas Tierney, Simon Roosevelt, Suzanne Lacy, Ann Jones, and Caroline Moran, sit seventh overall and third in the national championship after finishing on a score of 31.7 after dressage.

Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and his FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) Tryon 2018 mount, Tsetserleg, a 12-year-old Trakehner gelding owned by Christine Turner, put in a stellar test as the third-to-last combination to finish out the dressage phase at the Kentucky Horse Park.

“I was happy with my bloke,” said Martin. “[Tsetserleg] put in a good test. Dressage is a frustrating sport because you can always look back on it and wish you did this a little bit better, or wish you did that a little bit better, but he is getting better and better. Last year, he was very green here and sort of scraped through all three phases. This year, he is a bit more seasoned and confirmed at this level. He has been working really, really well. He is a very quiet horse and relaxed. … I am really looking forward to tomorrow. It should be really fun.

“I think this is our third year together,” continued Martin. “It takes about two years to form a partnership. Last year, it was probably a little bit of a rush, getting through [LRK3DE] and then to the [WEG Tryon 2018]. It sort of felt like we were doing everything on a wish and a prayer, but it has been good just taking a bit of a moment to get to know each other well. He is a little bit of a quirky horse and we have had a bit of time now to figure each other out. … It is wonderful having a horse that tries his guts out.”

Watch Martin and Tsetserleg’s dressage test here.

Martin and Tsetserleg will be nearly the last combination to leave the start box on Saturday. However, Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z will start third on cross-country, following fellow American combinations Caroline Martin and Islandwood Captain Jack and Buck Davidson and Park Trader.

“I am very, very early on. I am third to go, so it is going be an occasion [where] I don’t get to watch any,” said Halliday-Sharp. “I’ve just got to make my own plan and stick to it, which actually suits me and [Deniro Z] anyway. I know him well and I think it is a strong track. I think Derek [di Grazia] builds a cross-country course that encourages bold riding. It is a good galloping course, which I hope will suit Deniro [Z]. There is a lot to do in the later part of the course. I think that is one of the biggest challenges – [the course] is sort of busy in that last minute and a half. … It will take a fit horse. I think the challenge is there and we just have to work hard and battle through it.”

Visit the LRK3DE website for updated ride times, schedule of events, and scoring.

by US Equestrian Communications Department

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