SILVA MARTIN OVERCOMES ‘HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE YEAR’ TO FINISH 2ND IN PRELIM TEST IN USA 6-YEAR-OLD CHAMPS

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Silva Martin riding Aesthete to second place in 6-year-old preliminary test in U.S. Young Horse Championships. © 2011 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WAYNE, Illinois, Aug. 27–After a “horribe, horrible” summer, Silva Martin rode Aesthete  to second place in the six-yeard-old preiminary test at the U.S. Young Horse Championships Friday, hoping to repeat the horse’s success from the past two years.

Life for Silva, German-born but a U.S. citizen, became horrible three months ago when a nighttime fire in the barn of her eventer husband, Boyd, an Australian turned American, killed six horses and four others were injured. Then Boyd’s father died and the pair went to Australia. Then Silva’s father died and they went to Germany.

Silva is not complaining, though.

“I feel really lucky to have a horse like this,” she said after scoring 8.6 to place second on the KWPN gelding by Trento B out of a Gribaldi mare and owned by Faye Woolf.

“He keeps me going. Every time I ride this horse he makes me feel great. He always comes through for me.”

Aesthete was the the U.S. four-year-old champion and third as a five-year-old ridden by Karen Monks-Reilly, of Unionville, Pennsylvania.

Silva, aged 30, of Cochranville, Pennsylvania, said that despite much of the summer spent away from training Aesthete “is always waiting for me–he keeps me going.”

The horse has changed in just the three months since the pair competed one week after the barn fire at the young horse selection trials for the world championships in Verden, Germany.

“He is much stronger,” she said, “a much better horse.”