Finding themselves in 37th after the dressage on a personal best score of 47.70, Boyd Martin and off-track Thoroughbred Blackfoot Mystery had a lot to prove in the cross-country phase of the three-day eventing competition at the Rio Olympic Games. The first of the American riders to tackle the very difficult course, Martin guided “Red” to a clean run with just 3.2 time penalties, according to Chronicle of the Horse. It was the toughest cross country course in Olympic history, with just 40.6 percent of riders finishing without jumping penalties.
“I'm feeling exhausted,” Martin said after the run. “That was one of the most physically demanding courses. You had to jump a jump, turn, accelerate. You know, it was tiring and it was laboring and it was intense. For the horse it was question after question after question. You get through one tough jump and then you come onto another tough jump and I'm so thankful I was on an old racehorse from Kentucky because he kept fighting the whole way home.
“He was definitely on empty coming to the last three and he just tried his heart out and jumped every jump. I'm so pleased with him.”
Another ex-racehorse also completed the cross country course Monday afternoon. Summon Up The Blood, competed by Carlos Parro of Brazil, was in 35th after dressage with a 47.30, and earned just 4 time penalties to move into seventh overall in the standings.
The final phase of the competition will be show jumping on Tuesday.
Read more at Chronicle of the Horse.
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