Boyd Martin Claims First CCI5*-L Win for USA in 13 Years

The last time a U.S. rider won a CCI5*-L was in 2008 at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.

Boyd Martin and his 15-year-old Anglo European mare, On Cue, claimed victory in the CCI5*-L at the inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill—the first U.S. rider to do so in 13 years. The last U.S. rider to win a CCI5*-L was Phillip Dutton in 2008 at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. Not only does Martin’s win end a long drought, it also marks the first-ever win at the Maryland 5 Star. A U.S. rider winning the event is especially fitting in its first year. 

Boyd Martin (USA) and On Cue claimed victory in the CCI5*-L at the inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill. © Julia Murphy

Martin, who went into show jumping in third place, had several hard rubs that had onlookers on the edge of their seats, gasping as the poles rocked in their cups. But luckily, all the rails stayed up and Martin finished on his overnight score of 25 penalties. The crowd exploded in applause, and Martin was all smiles as he exited the ring to watch the remaining two riders go. 

“On Cue really gutsed it out today and jumped around. I think lady lucky was on our side—we bumped and thumped a few poles, and I never heard one come down. I couldn’t believe it actually, that I got a clear round.”

“Coming into this thing, I thought I had a chance,” added Martin. “[On Cue] has been so good this year. She looked good at Kentucky earlier this year and then she was the back-up horse for the Olympics and was fit for that so I knew I had a fit animal.”

New Zealand’s Tim Price and his mount Xavier Faer, a 15-year-old British Sport Horse, entered the ring to challenge Martin’s ride next but had a rail down at the second fence, adding 4 faults to his score of 24.3. Ultimately, Price finished with 28.3 penalties and secured third place overall. 

“Today was actually not a spotless round. There was lots of crashing and bashing for me as well. Having the second down is not a great beginning to your round. But, [Xavier Faer] is a trier, he’s a very simple horse. He just needs a fence, and I have to get him there in the right way with the right energy.”

Jonelle Price, Astier Nicolas and Joe Meyer watch Tim Price (NZL) jump to a third place finish in the CCI5*-L at the inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill. © Amy K. Dragoo

Last in the ring was overnight leader Oliver Townend of Great Britain and Cooley Master Class, a 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse. Townend had managed to maintain his day one dressage score through day two of dressage as well as cross country. To many, Townend seemed unstoppable, and going into the show jumping ring, many assumed he would come out on top. But about half way through the course, Townend dropped a rail, adding four faults to his score of 21.2, finishing on 25.1 penalties and second place overall. “Some days are meant to be your day and some days aren’t meant to be your day, and today is Boyd’s day,” commented Townend. 

Oliver Townend (GBR) and Cooley Master Class claimed second in the CCI5*-L at the inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill. © Amy K. Dragoo

Spectators and riders waited eagerly for the announcement. “I saw Erik Duvander sprinting across the ring crying and I thought, ‘Hang on, I think I won it,'” said Martin. He and On Cue were the 2021 Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill champions—a huge feat for U.S. eventing. The crowd whooped and hollered in recognition of the historical moment. The top 10 riders returned to the ring to accept their respective awards and Martin, Townend and Price took to the podium to celebrate with champagne. 

Oliver Townend (far left), Boyd Martin (center) and Tim Price (far right) celebrated on the podium with champagne, alongside his two sons.

For complete results of CCI3*-L competition, click here

Kurt Martin Claims CCI3*-L Win

At the end of CCI3*-L show jumping, there was a big shake up at the top of the leaderboard. Though Kurt Martin and his 9-year-old mare, D.A. Lifetime, had a clear show-jumping round to claim the victory on a score of 23.5, second and third place riders, Daniel Clasing and Caroline Martin, fell out of the top three. Clasing had 12 faults aboard Olney Uncle Sam, a 14-year-old Trakehner gelding, to finish on a score of 38 and 14th place overall, while Martin and HSH Vamanos, an 8-year-old Zangersheide gelding, racked up eight faults for a final score of 35.5 and sixth place overall. 

“We started out the week on a positive vibe. [D.A. Lifetime] was really into her work and prepared for this week. The dressage went beautifully,” Martin said of his mount “Clarence”. 

“The cross country was a great course. I think that Clarence has gained a lot of experience,” Martin continued. “Today, going in there in the show jumping … It felt so good to jump a clean round on the final day on this horse. It’s been a real work in progress.”

Kurt Martin (USA) and D.A. Lifetime were champions of the CCI3*-L at the inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill. © Amy K. Dragoo

Shaking up the top three with a move up from fourth place into second overall was Hannah Sue Burnett aboard Carsonstown, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding. Burnett put in a clear round and added just .4 time faults to her score to finish with 28.1 penalties. With the top three after cross country still ahead of her to go, Burnett watched as her name rose up the leaderboard and secured a spot on the podium. 

Hannah Sue Burnett (USA) and Carsonstown claimed second in the CCI3*-L at the inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill. © Amy K. Dragoo

Oliver Townend and Ulises, a 14-year-old CDE (Spanish Sport Horse) gelding, were the other pair to make a big jump on the leaderboard on the final day of the Maryland 5 Star. Townend put in a clear round to maintain his score of 29.4 penalties, which bumped him up from seventh place to third place overall. 

Oliver Townend (GBR) and Ulises earned third place honors in the CCI3*-L at the inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill. © Amy K. Dragoo

For complete results of CCI3*-L competition, click here

For more information about the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill visit Thanks for following Practical Horseman’s coverage of the inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill with Mane ‘n Tail, Cowboy Magic and Exhibitors. To find all of our coverage from the inaugural Maryland 5 Star, click here

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