Crackerjack, a 15.3 hand Irish Sport Horse gelding by Aberjack out of Satan’s Slave was bred by Lucy Boynton Lie for her son Colin Davidson to ride. Davidson started “Crackers” at the Beginner Novice level in 2008 and campaigned him through the Preliminary level. In December of 2010, Davidson passed away in a car accident at the age of 29.
Boynton Lie then sent Crackerjack to Boyd Martin to be sold, but the pair formed a bond and Martin kept the ride and competed Crackerjack in Davidson’s memory. Martin rode Crackerjack for the last six years and together the pair competed all over the world. In 66 competitions together the pair only had two cross-country blips.
They contested six four-star competitions – finishing seventh at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event this spring and 10th at Luhmuhlen in Germany last summer. In 2012 they won the CCI2* at Jersey Fresh and the CIC2* at Richland Park. They had multiple top finishes at the three-star level including second place at the 2016 Plantation Field CIC3* and seventh at the 2015 Fair Hill International CCI3*.
On October 28, Crackerjack and Martin were competing at the Pau CCI4* in France when Crackerjack sustained multiple fractures in his pastern bone near the end of the cross-country course. Martin and Boynton Lie made the decision to humanely euthanize Crackerjack based on the advice of the veterinarians.
“Crackerjack had a wonderful cross-country round. I felt like it was one of our best ever trips together: we were jumping clear and took all the direct routes, and coming into the final stretch in the arena, he had plenty left in the tank. He felt fresh and his ears were pricked and I was thrilled with the way he was going,” said Martin following the event. “Just as we went into the arena he took a horrible step, almost on false ground. I heard a crack and instantly knew something was wrong. I pulled up and leapt off within a couple of strides. I knew Crackers was in bad shape.”
“What a ride it’s been. Crackers has taken me all over the world and given Lucy some wonderful memories. I can’t tell everyone how sorry I am,” concluded Martin.
How competitive have your Novice results been? What’s a good final score? What’s a good dressage score? What does it take to win? In our third installment of this series, EquiRatings showcases the Novice level. Use these graphs and statistics to help evaluate your Novice game.
Conditioning makes the horse fit and increases his endurance performance with less wear and tear on feet and legs. The idea is to work his heart and lungs in short intervals, let him recover a bit, then work him again. The following schedule for Training level horse provides an introduction for the horse and rider at the lower levels to the principle of interval training.
Within their first few years of being born, young horses have the opportunity to get a taste of U.S. Eventing through the USEA’s young horse programs. The USEA Future Event Horse Program (FEH) evaluates the potential of yearlings, 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds, and 4-year-olds under saddle to become successful upper level event horses while the USEA Young Event Horse Program (YEH) evaluates the potential of 4-year-olds and 5-year-olds to become successful upper level event horses.
If your farm has the space to set up a cross-country schooling course, it can be to your advantage to have cross-country jumps available for schooling purposes. Safety should be the number one priority when designing and building cross-country jumps, and an expert should be consulted whenever possible.