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“We have the best Thoroughbreds in the world and with frozen semen available there’s no reason we shouldn’t be outbreeding the Europeans.”


being a foreigner going to Europe to look at horses is there are a lot of second-rate horses people are trying to unload. Whenever an American makes a trip, I’m sure those sellers start rubbing their hands and using every trick in the book to polish those horses up and try to convince you they’re good horses. The key is to be aware—the horses don’t walk on water in Europe. I’ve also had a lot of good fortune finding horses


in America. Some people don’t look in their own backyard before they travel to Europe and that’s a mistake. America is a vast country and there are only a handful of riders looking for the really top level horses. There are plenty of good horses hidden in pockets of the country, at a good price, and for most of us it is easier to understand what you’re getting yourself into without encountering language and cultural barriers, long flights, quarantines, etc. Pancho Villa, the horse I rode at the Pan-Am


Games, had French breeding but was born and bred in Louisiana, and I found him while teaching a clinic


in Texas. He was one of the best horses I’ve ever rid- den. One of my other most successful horses was Blackfoot Mystery, an American Thoroughbred who had raced and was already at the 3* level of event- ing when I put a group together to buy him. I can promise you, if he’d been in Europe he’d have been five times the price and gobbled up before I had a chance to see him. So remember, there are many nice horses in Eu-


rope but there are also big advantages to finding horses here in the “promised land!”


Four-star event rider Boyd Martin rep- resented the United States at the 2010, 2014 and 2018 World Equestrian Games, as well as the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. He and his wife Silva, a G.P. dressage rider, own and operate Windurra USA in Cochranville, PA. Learn more about them at: www.boydandsilvamartin.com


74 January/February 2019


Amber Heintzberger


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