Boyd Martin has retired 2011 Dansko Fair Hill CCI*** (Md.) winner, Ying Yang Yo.
After suffering an ulcerated eye that forced him to miss this year’s Rolex Kentucky CCI****, Martin rerouted Ying Yang Yo to the Luhmühlen CCI****, held June 14-17 in Germany. The paired scored a 52 in dressage and jumped the first portion of the cross-country clean.
“At about a third of the way around I noticed him fatigue and heard him gasping for air,” wrote Martin on his website. “This was unusual for my old partner, but we pressed on. Jump by jump it got worse, and he started to jump poorly; he also started getting louder and louder in his breathing. Eventually he glanced off a corner after a labored approach, and I thought it best to pull up my old friend and walk him home.”
Veterinary examinations revealed a paralyzed airway. Martin decided to retire “Thomas,” a 16-year-old Thoroughbred (Mr Investor—Magical Gift) owned by Windurra LLC and Stony Brook Farm, at Stony Brook Farm in New Hampshire.
Thomas and Martin traveled together from Australia to contest the 2006 Rolex Kentucky CCI****. Martin, Cochranville, Pa., placed 11th at that event with Thomas and remarked on his website afterwards, “He gave me such a great taste for the U.S. that I left him there and moved back permanently at the end of the year.”
Martin and Thomas went on to place second at the 2007 Fair Hill International CCI***. But after retiring on cross-country at the 2008 Rolex Kentucky CCI****, Martin redirected the bay gelding towards the lower levels. Thomas spent the next few years competing at novice and training with junior rider Eliza Woolf.
When the May 2011 barn fire at True Prospect Farm claimed the lives of six horses, the Woolf family offered Martin the ride on his old partner again. Martin and Thomas won the Dankso Fair Hill International CCI*** that autumn.
“He will live life in luxury in New Hampshire with his owners at Stony Brook Farm,” wrote Martin. “Originally the plan was to take him to England and do Burghley [CCI****], but we feel that is no longer an option. Thomas was in good health and great spirits as I said goodbye.”