Olympic three-day event rider Boyd Martin was born to Toy Dorgan, an American speedskater, and Ross Martin, an Australian cross-country skier. His parents met at the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France. Martin and his sister Brook were raised in Terrey Hills, New South Wales, on the outskirts of Sydney. Boyd started his riding career in Forrest Hills Pony Club, with a pony named Willy.
The day after he finished high school he moved into the bunkhouse at Heath and Rozzie Ryan’s Newcastle Equestrian Centre, and stayed there for the next eight years, first as a working student and later running his own business. Heath Ryan imprinted hard work and horsemanship on Martin and was a huge influence on his early career. During this time represented Australia at the Young Rider level against New Zealand on a Trans-Tasman three-day event on Brady Bunch, and won the very last long-format four-star event at the 2003 Adelaide CCI4* riding True Blue Toozac. He was long listed for the Australian Eventing Team for the Olympic Games in Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Hong Kong 2008. To maintain his horses Martin supplemented his income by selling school books for the family business, picking grapes at the local wineries in the early morning, and selling holiday packages as a telemarketer.
In 2006 Martin traveled to the US to compete at the Rolex Kentucky CCI4* riding Ying Yang Yo, and fell in love with eventing in the U.S. He then returned to Australia to liquidate most of his assets before he and his wife, Silva (née Stigler), moved to the U.S. in 2007 to pursue their dreams of competing internationally. They both walked away from a very successful business and lifestyle in Australia, starting over from the beginning to build a business in the United States.
For the first three years in the US, Martin worked as an assistant to Phillip Dutton], then in 2010 Silva and Boyd started their own business Windurra USA, LLC. They leased the upper barn from Dutton, running their business out the same farm. Dutton continued coaching and training Martin through this transition. Dutton became somewhat of a father figure to Martin in the United States and remains his coach and mentor.
Today the Martins own their own farm Windurra USA in Cochranville, Pennsylvania. Located in Cheshire Hunt Country and adjacent to the 3,000-acre Runnymede Sanctuary, the Windurra facilities include jumping and dressage arenas and a galloping track, all featuring all-weather footing. The extensive cross-country schooling course designed and built by Eric Bull includes beginner novice through four-star elements. During the winter Boyd and Silva are based at Stable View Farm in Aiken, South Carolina and Silva also travels to Wellington, Florida to train and compete.
As the son of an American citizen, Martin has always enjoyed dual citizenship, and in 2009 he officially began representing the United States in International competition. He was the top-placed US rider (10th) at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky riding Neville Bardos; top US rider (7th place) at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France riding Shamwari; and was a member of the US Olympic Eventing Team in London in 2012 riding Otis Barbotiere. In 2015 he placed 4th individually and was a member of the gold medal winning US team at the Pan American Games in Toronto riding Pancho Villa. In the following year Boyd competed at his second Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He placed 16th individually and thus was the second best US-rider, behind Dutton who won a bronze medal.
German-born dressage rider Silva Martin obtained US Citizenship in 2010 and competed on her first US Team at the Nations Cup in Wellington, Florida in February, 2014 riding Rosa Cha W, helping to bring home a team gold medal. She also operates a separate business under the same banner at Windurra USA. She specializes in training dressage horses and coaches a number of high level eventing and dressage riders.
Martin purchased his best-known horse, Neville Bardos, for $850; Neville had been rescued from the racetrack by another trainer and declared 'no good' as a jumper. After overcoming great adversity including a devastating barn fire at True Prospect Farm in 2011, and the deaths of his father and father-in-law shortly after the fire, Martin and Neville made an amazing comeback to finish 7th at the Burghley CCI4* (England), one of the toughest three-events in the world. Martin finished 2011 ranked 8th on the HSBC World Rankings, Neville Bardos was named the 2011 International Horse of the Year by the USEF, and The Chronicle of the Horse named Martin its 2011 Overall Rider of the Year. They were featured on Rock Center with Brian Williams on NBC Television, the cover page of the New York Times, and were the subject of a Pulitzer Prize winning feature in Sports Illustrated magazine.
Martin has enjoyed much international competitive success, finishing in the top ten at every four-star in the world except Badminton (England): Rolex Kentucky CCI4* (USA); Pau CCI4* (France); Luhmuehlen CCI4* (Germany); the World Equestrian Games (USA and France); and Burghley CCI4* (England). He has trained and competed a long list of successful four-star event horses including Flying Doctor, Brady Bunch, X-Treme, Starkey, Orchard End Winston, True Blue Toozac, Ying Yang Yo, Neville Bardos, Rock on Rose, Remington XXV, Otis Barbotiere, Trading Aces, and Shamwari IV, Crackerjack and Master Frisky.
Martin competes nearly every weekend, and coaches a long list of successful riders. He is a sought-after clinician and in the off-season can be found teaching around the United States. Every year he takes one or two trips to Europe, usually on a USEF Traveling grant, to some of take on the world's best horses and riders at the biggest competitions in Europe.
Working hard behind the scenes is a dedicated support team: farriers Doug Neilson and Steve Teichman, and veterinarian Dr. Kevin Keane, DVM, and assistant rider Mike Pendleton. Martin usually employs 5-8 people to work with the horses, often younger working students who are eager to develop their skills for the higher levels. He has successfully syndicated multiple upper level event horses and has a devoted group of horse owners involved in his horses' careers.
In addition to training with Phillip Dutton, Martin receives coaching in dressage with his wife Silva and regularly works with US Eventing Team Coaches David O'Connor and Silvio Mazzoni, as well as English show jumper Richard Picken.
With a quick smile, sharp intellect and easygoing personality as well as the ability to easily relate his riding expertise to students of all levels, Boyd Martin is a media favorite. He is a popular co-host of the Eventing Radio Show and his PR team maintains an active website, blog and social media. He also writes a regular column for Warmbloods Today magazine. He has been featured extensively in equestrian media as well as mainstream publications including The New York Times (front page feature) and Sports Illustrated.
His current sponsors include Ariat, Attwood Equestrian Surfaces , Charles Owen, Ecogold, Majyk Equipe Boots, Purina, Shires Equestrian, Smartpak Equine and Stübben Custom Saddlery.
In 2015 Martin was ranked 3rd in the FEI World Eventing Athlete Rankings. In order to view Boyd's most up to date results, please link to US Eventing.
Outside of equestrianism, Boyd is a fan of boxing.