Boyd’s ride On Cue, who is British-bred and belongs to the Turner family and his rider, rattled several uprights on the showjumping course, but nothing fell and he finished on his dressage score of 25.
“This horse has a heart of gold, she keeps trying and trying and trying, and I’m just really happy,” said Boyd.
“Obviously it’s easy to say when you win, but this is going to be one of world’s greatest events and to have it here in my back yard, with this great crowd and wonderful supporters and sponsors – it’s a privilege to ride here.”
The US rider was third overnight, but the two competitors ahead of him both had four faults to drop behind him in the final standings.
Britain’s Oliver Townend led overnight on Angela Hislop’s Cooley Master Class, but the double Kentucky Three-Day Event winner just touched off the red, white and blue oxer at fence four with his front legs to drop into second place.
Trisha Rickards, Nigella Hall and Tim Price’s Xavier Faer, who was second overnight, hit the green and white Buckeye upright at fence two with his hindlegs, dropping him and Tim from second to third for New Zealand. This was Xavier Faer’s fourth top-three finish in a five-star.
Boyd said he didn’t watch the top two jump: “You’ve just go to do the best you can with your own horse. Oliver and Tim have beaten me over and over again, they’re both on fantastic jumping horses but any horse can have a rail. I stayed out the back, I didn’t want to watch. I heard the gasp of the crowd and thought I’d won it then.”
The final stages felt like a re-juggle of the Kentucky Three-Day Event in the spring, when Oliver, Tim and Boyd were also right in the mix at the end, with Tim finishing second and Boyd fourth on the same horses as here at Maryland and Oliver winning on Ballaghmor Class.
This was the first US five-star win since Phillip Dutton won Kentucky in 2008 on Connaught and it will mean a great deal to the US to have a home side win in the first year at this inaugural event.
The home side took places fourth to sixth. Jennie Brannigan’s 1.2 time-faults moved her up from sixth to fourth on Stella Artois, while a clear for Will Coleman and Tight Lines elevated them from 10th to fifth. Lauren Nicholson had the spread at fence five down on the grey Landmark’s Monte Carlo and slipped from fourth to sixth.
Harry Meade was similarly punished for his four faults at fence five, moving down from fifth to seventh on Superstition. This was a second top-10 finish at a US five-star this season for Harry and Mandy Gray’s horse, as the British pair were also fifth at Kentucky in the spring.
New Zealand’s Jonelle Price and the 2018 Badminton Horse Trials winner Classic Moet had the upright out of the double at fence eight down to slide from seventh to eighth, while the USA’s Doug Payne’s fault-free round on Quantum Leap lifted him from equal 11th to ninth.
France’s Astier Nicolas finished 10th in the Maryland 5 Star results, with his clear today completing his rise from 28th after dressage on Babylon De Gamma.
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