Mill Spring, N.C. – The championship title came down to a single rail in the show jumping phase of the 2020 Buckeye Nutrition USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship on Sunday at the MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event. With the top five combinations finishing cross-country within four points of each other, the pressure was on for overnight leaders Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z. They almost had the win in the bag until that one costly rail on the final fence.
Halliday-Sharp’s loss was Boyd Martin’s gain, as he and Christine Turner’s 12-year-old Trakehner gelding, Tsetserleg TSF, turned in a double clear round to take over the top spot and the National Champion title with a final score of 28.10. As the top finishing U.S. competitor in the CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship, Martin is awarded the Guy V. Henry Memorial Trophy and Martin and Turner are awarded the Gladstone Challenge Trophy.
Martin (Cochransville, Penn.) had three horses in the CCI4*-L, and after disappointing rounds with his first two, Thomas’s honest go around the course was an extra sweet victory.“I had the old campaigner last, and Thomas went in and jumped like a champion,” said Martin. “The show jumping has been his weak phase over the years, and we’ve worked pretty hard at it. It’s very satisfying to get a good round out of him under pressure.I think that Thomas performs better when there’s pressure. I’m not sure if he knows which events are important, but he seems to do really well in dressage, cross-country, and show jumping when we need him.”