June 13, 2014 -- The United States produced strong performances in the first phase of competition at the Luhmuhlen CCI4* landing two riders in the top 12. Land Rover Competition Grant recipients Boyd Martin and Shamwari 4 scored 47.8 from the Ground Jury of Gillian Rolton, Ernst Topp, and Alain James and will head out onto Captain Mark Phillips' cross country course in 12th place.
Martin (Cochranville, Pa.) has spent much of the spring on the sidelines after breaking his leg in March but nevertheless produced his best test to date with the Shamwari 4 Syndicate LLC's gelding on Friday. The 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games veteran showcased Shamwari's expressive gaits to leave himself within striking distance heading into the cross country.
The pair is making their CCI4* debut this weekend in Luhmuhlen, after the 12-year-old Hanoverian was acquired for Martin in early 2014 after representing Sweden at the 2012 London Olympic Games and 2013 HSBC FEI European Eventing Championships .
Lying in 10th after the dressage are five-time Olympian Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.) and Bruce Duchossois' Mighty Nice. The winners of the 2013 Red Hills International Horse Trials scored 46.0 and set off on the cross country less than eight points behind the leaders.
"I thought Boyd and Phillip did really good jobs today. Boyd did well to keep Shamwari 4 on track when he got a bit lit up in his test," said U.S Eventing Team Coach David O'Connor. "They continue to get better and better and are going in the right direction. Phillip did a really nice job with Mighty Nice and he is in the hunt."
Martin also stands in 33rd with the Otis Barbotiere Syndicate LLC's 12-year-old Selle Francais gelding Otis Barbotiere after the dressage. The pair performed their test on Thursday scoring 58.5.
Australia's Lucinda Fredericks and Flying Finish holds the lead after the dressage on a score of 38.7, while Germany's Olympic, World, and European Champion Michael Jung stands second with fisherRocana FST on a score of 41.5. Germany's Ingrid Klimke and Horseware Hale Bob head onto the cross country in third place with a score of 42.0.
Martin and Otis Barbotiere set out on Saturday's cross country at 9:14am local time. Martin will then leave the start box with Shamwari 4 at 11:50am, with Dutton and Mighty Nice rounding out the U.S. effort at 12:18pm.
To learn more about the Luhmuhlen CCI4*, visit: http://www.luhmuehlen.de/index.asp?tree_id=65&sprache_id=2.
Follow the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team here.