Tokyo, Japan – Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg served as the final combination of the three-man team of the U.S. Eventing Team to ride down the centerline for their dressage test at the Equestrian Park in Tokyo, Japan, receiving a 31.1 from the Ground Jury to secure the team’s eight place standing heading into the cross-country phase tomorrow. The team currently sits on a combined total of 94.6, while Great Britain, Germany, and New Zealand hold the top three team positions. Cross-country at the Sea Forest Cross-Country Course will begin at 7:45 a.m. JST on Sunday, August 1, which is 6:45 p.m. EST on Saturday, July 31 with the time zone difference.
Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and Tsetserleg have been tasked as the team’s anchor combination in all three phases and Martin was anticipating delivering a better test with the seasoned 14-year-old Trakehner gelding owned by Christine, Tommie, & Thomas Turner, but a few uncharacteristic mistakes dropped their score below their average mark.
“To be honest it's quite disappointing. Thomas has been so good in the dressage for years and years and we had great work in there and then there was one moment in the rein back where he fell behind me and misunderstood me and cantered out, which screwed up the next movement,” said Martin, as he described his test. “It was some great moments and some disastrous moments. You always come here hoping to give a personal best.”
But the team is already focusing on the phase ahead, which is notably a strong phase for all three combinations, with Vandiver, Z, and Tsetserleg all accomplished campaigners at the top level of the sport with tremendous experience. The Derek DiGrazia-designed track is expected to be challenging and will be influential with the standings following the conclusion of tomorrow’s competition and the team is looking to deliver three fast, efficient rounds to help push them up back up the leaderboard.
“The cross-country is so difficult tomorrow, and it will be hard to get the time. I believe we're in with a chance if we can deliver three good rounds of cross-country. We've got three good, seasoned horses who are older and experienced, so I think we've got nothing to lose by going out there and giving it a crack,” added Martin.
Doug Payne (Rougemont, N.C.) and Vandiver will be the first combination out for the team at 7:51 a.m. JST, followed by Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) and Z at 9:03 a.m. JST, and Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) and Tsetserleg will round out the team’s day at 10:09 a.m. JST.