Four-star eventer Boyd Martin is recovering from surgery after a series of falls over the spring season resulted in four torn tendons and ligaments in his right ankle.
“I’ve had a number of falls this year, two of which happened at Southern Pines Horse Trials [N.C., in March]. One was off a scooter, and the other was off Crackerjack in the show jumping. A combination of those things led to a couple of tears in my ankle, and I’ve sort of been struggling along with it for a couple of weeks and finally bit the bullet and did the surgery,” he said.
Despite the pain, Martin decided to push through and compete at the Rolex Kentucky CCI**** with Trading Aces, although he ultimately retired on cross-country after the gelding tired towards the end of the course.
“It was a big competition, and that’s what motivates me. I was very fortunate that [my wife] Silva [Martin], Caitlin Silliman and Phillip Dutton all helped me keep going through those tough weeks in riding and jumping some of my horses and helping me prepare Trading Aces,” he said. “It was obviously very painful, especially in the jumping after you land. I think the most frustrating thing was trying to ride correctly, having your weight dropping down through your heels. The big reason I got the surgery done sooner rather than later was because it was affecting riding correctly. My ankle basically didn’t bend.”
While he’s recovering, Boyd is able to stand on crutches and teach. He’ll be out of the saddle for two to three weeks, then hopes to start riding dressage without stirrups for a few weeks before attempting to jump.
In the meantime, Dutton, Silliman and Silva will keep his horses going. “I’m very fortunate that I’ve got very good riders around me. It’s frustrating watching others around me ride, but it is what it is, and it’s giving me a chance to take a deep breath and regroup and concentrate on my teaching and get healed up,” he said.