Jul 01, 2021

The U.S. Team Spirit is Headed to Tokyo After Day Two of the U.S. Eventing Mandatory Olympic Training Session

By Claire Kelley - USEA Staff

The second day of the U.S. Eventing Mandatory Outing was a day filled with team spirit, Olympic level riding, and clear cross-country rounds. Only adding time penalties, all riders representing the U.S. jumped clear around Ian Stark’s Advanced level track. Unfortunately, the Canadian rider, Colleen Loach parted ways with Qorry Blue d’Argouges at the water complex only one jump from home. The remaining 11 horse and rider combinations will move forward to tomorrow’s second horse inspection.

The Tokyo team of Liz Halliday-Sharp, Boyd Martin, Phillip Dutton, and the traveling reserve, Doug Payne showed appreciation for their fellow Tokyo teammates. “It’s been my dream to ride with the two of them. They are such wonderful athletes, and so experienced and so professional,” said Liz-Halliday Sharp of Martin and Dutton.

Dutton post cross-country and Martin pre cross-country with Tsetserleg. USEA/Claire Kelley photo.

"I thought he was a bit of a weirdo when I first met him!” Boyd Martin said of Dutton while smiling. “I was lucky enough, and obviously green, when I rode with him on my first team for America in 2010. We’ve been on every WEG and Olympic team for the last 11 years. It’s comforting. He’s the guy I turn to and ask for advice. He’s just a great guy. He’s humble, and he’s forever helping other people.”

Dutton and Martin, who are both originally from Australia, are going into their third Olympic Games together as teammates representing the U.S.

Martin and Tsetserleg TSF. USEA/Claire Kelley photo.

Martin, the only rider with two horses, was the first out of the box as well as the last rider out on course. His first ride was with the second direct reserve, On Cue (Cabri de Elle x On High) a 16-year-old Selle Français mare bred by Alyse and Jolyse Clancey, and owned by Christine Turner, Thomas Turner, Tommie Turner, and Boyd Martin. His last ride, and the last ride of the day, was with Tsetserleg TSF (Windfall II x Thabana) a 14-year-old Trakehner gelding owned by Christine Turner, Thomas Turner, and Tommie Turner.

Z and Dutton over the last jump on course - a frangible fence, made possible by the USEA Foundation. USEA/Claire Kelley photo.

“He’s as good as they get, he’s starting to really understand each phase. He’s a real competitor.” said Phillip Dutton of the 13-year-old Zangersheide gelding, Z owned by Thomas Tierney, Ann Jones, Caroline Moran, Simon Roosevelt, and Suzanne Lacy.

Dutton, the 6-time Olympian, is going into his 7th Olympic Games. Dutton’s first three Olympics he represented Australia and helped secure the team gold medal twice (1996 - team gold, 2000 - team gold, and 2004). The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games were the first Olympics that Dutton rode for the U.S. and has been on the U.S. Olympic team ever since (2008, 2012, and 2016 - individual bronze with Mighty Nice).

Through the finish for Doug Payne and Vandiver. USEA/Claire Kelley photo.

“It’s a huge honor to represent our country and I’m certainly looking forward to it,” said the traveling reserve, Doug Payne after making easy work of Ian Stark’s cross-country track with the 17-year-old Trakehner gelding, Vandiver (Windfall II x Visions of Grandeur) owned by Debi Crowley, Doug Payne, and Jessica Payne.

Tamie Smith and Mai Baum. Samantha Haynie Photography.

“He was super. Eric and I have been working on me riding him a little different and I was actually nervous to change up what I’ve been doing my whole life but, it was amazing,” said the first team alternate, Tamra Smith after her strong cross-country round with Mai Baum (Loredano x Ramira), a 15-year-old German Sport Horse bred by Sachsische Gestutsuer Waltung, and owned by Alexandra Ahearn, Ellen Ahearn, and Eric Markell.

“He’s amazing - he gives me the same feeling as Antigua did,” said the second team alternate, Will Faudree of the 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Mama’s Magic Way (Mighty Magic x Hauptstutbuch Straightaway) owned by Jennifer Mosing.“If he gets called up to Tokyo, there’s no better horse I’d be sitting on, especially in the heat.”

Mama's Magic Way and Will Faudree at the start box. USEA/Claire Kelley photo.

The final day of the mandatory training session is tomorrow with the second horse inspection at 8:00 a.m. and show jumping starting at 10:00 a.m.

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