Boyd Martin Bio
The top-placing member of the US Eventing Team at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games riding Neville Bardos and a member of the 2012 US Olympic Eventing Team in London riding Otis Barbotiere, Boyd Martin is one of the top three-day event riders in the world. He is highly ranked on the HSBC Leaderboard (fourth in the world at the time of writing) and has won numerous year-end awards from the United States Eventing Association. In 2010 Martin was named The Chronicle of the Horse magazine’s Eventing Horseman of the Year and in 2011 the magazine named him their Overall Horseman of the Year.
With a barn full of talented horses, Boyd has plenty more excitement in his future. A successful rider and sought-after instructor, Boyd maintains incredible focus and the drive to succeed while remaining approachable to students of all levels. He and his wife, Grand Prix dressage rider Silva Martin, are based out of their own farm in Cochranville, PA.
Boyd’s parents met at the Grenoble Olympics, where his father Ross was competing in cross-country skiing for Australia and his mother, Toy Dorgan, was competing in speed skating for the United States. Boyd was born in New South Wales, Australia on August 20, 1979, with dual Australian and American citizenship. He completed his schooling in 1997 and obtained his NCAS Level 1 Coaching certificate in 1998 and his Horsemanship Certificate 1 at the NSW Equestrian Centre in 1998.
He worked at the New South Wales Equestrian Centre from 1999 until the end of 2006. In the beginning he was employed by Olympian Heath Ryan and then in 1999 he formed his own company, Windurra Australia Pty Ltd., training event horses, breaking young horses, coaching, and breeding performance horses
Boyd’s greatest competitive moment in Australia was winning the Adelaide CCI4* in 2003 riding True Blue Toozac. The event was the Olympic selection trials for the 2004 Athens Olympics, and the last long-format four-star event ever held.
In 2007 Boyd and his wife Silva, a German-born Grand Prix dressage rider, moved to the United States to pursue their dreams of competing internationally. In 2009 Boyd officially changed his status with the FEI (International Equestrian Federation) to represent the United States, and in 2010 Silva obtained dual citizenship so that she too can ride under the Stars and Stripes.
For their first few years in the USA Boyd and Silva worked out of Olympic Gold Medallist Phillip Dutton’s True Prospect Farm in West Grove, PA, where Boyd was Phillip’s assistant rider and Silva rented a separate barn for her dressage horses. The couple moved to their own farm in nearby Cochranville in 2011.
In addition to Adelaide and the World Games and Olympics Boyd has competed internationally at the Rolex Kentucky CCI4* (USA), Pau CCI4* (France), Boekelo CCI3* (the Netherlands), and the Burghley CCI4* (England). He and Ying Yang Yo won the 2011 USEF National Eventing Championships at the Fair Hill International CCI3*, which Boyd also won in 2009 riding Neville Bardos.
Following a devastating fire at True Prospect Farm in 2011 and his subsequent comeback to compete at the Burghley CCI4* in England – arguably the toughest three-day event in the world – Boyd’s Off the Track Thoroughbred gelding Neville Bardos, whom he brought to America from Australia, was named the 2010 US Equestrian Federation International Horse of the Year.
Subsequently Boyd has enjoyed extensive worldwide media coverage including a feature on the front page of The New York Times, a segment on NBC Television’s Rock Center with Brian Williams, a segment on BBC Radio’s “The World”, and a feature in Sports Illustrated magazine. He maintains an active blog which has twice been nominated for the Equestrian Social Media Awards, and has more than 7500 fans on Facebook. In 2011 Warner Bros. purchased the film rights to his story.
What event do you compete in? Eventing
Hometown: Cochranville, PA via Sydney, Australia
Number of years riding: Since age 13
Career accomplishments to date:
- 1st, Adelaide CCI4* on True Blue Toozac (Australia)
- 7th place on Remington XXV, 2010 Pau CCI4* (France)
- 10th place individually at 2010 WEG on Neville Bardos (KY, USA)
- 1st, 2010 Fair Hill International CCI3* USEF National Championship riding Neville Bardos
- 7th place on Neville Bardos, 2011 Burghley CCI4* (England)
- 1st, 2011 Fair Hill International CCI3* USEF National Championship riding Ying Yang Yo
- 3rd place at 2012 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event with Otis Barbotiere (and 8th on Remington XXV)
- Member of 2012 US Olympic Eventing Team on Otis Barbotiere
How you got started in your event: In Australia due to all the other lads in my town participating in the local Pony Club. Cross country involved galloping relatively untrained ponies at high speeds over fixed obstacles, which I loved. My sister Brooke was also into riding.
Length of time you’ve been sponsored by Ariat: Since November 2012
Favorite Ariat product (by name): The Pro Circuit Breeches are not only are they the most stylish menswear breeches in the jumping ring, they are super comfortable and the technical fabric keeps me cool and wicks sweat away to keep me feeling my best.
Proudest career moment: Representing the United States at the WEG and the Olympic Games
Tell us about your first horse: A pony named Willy, show name “Willy Do It”. In my first competition I fell off twice on cross-country and once in show jumping to finish on a score of 384. We could only go up from there!
You ride because: Horses have enabled me to go places beyond my wildest dreams. Riding has also provided me with a career in which I work hard every single day of the year training horses and I love every second of it.
If you weren’t a professional rider, you would be a: Professional Gambler
Favorite mentor or idol growing up: Heath Ryan. This borderline insane horse fanatic from Australia drew me to horses the moment I met him and from the age of 17 I lived in the bunkhouse at New South Wales Equestrian Center where I worked for Heath as a working pupil. Every day I watched him train his horses and I became more and more intrigued with the art of becoming a great horseman.
Favorite place to travel: Las Vegas
Name one fun fact that people don’t know about you: Extremely proud cat lover
Favorite way to unwind outside of the barn: Watching my favorite TV show, “Cops”
Good luck charm: My wife Silva (and my secret weapon in dressage)