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Team #594 Peter Martin and Rusty

Team #594: Peter Martin and Rusty
From: Meriden, New Hampshire
Ages: 77 & 23
Combined Age: 100
Test: Training Level Test 3
Date: September 18, 2022

I began riding summers as a six or seven-year-old when staying with my dad and stepmother on their farm in southwestern Pennsylvania. We were early Pony Club members, but I didn’t compete. We took lessons, did some trail riding, and helped exercise horses and hounds (Chestnut Ridge Hunt was based at our farm).  There was no riding while I went to college, medical school, residency, marriage, and divorce. I began dating and then marrying Lynn, who describes riding as her “drug of choice!”  So, for nearly 40 years, horses have been a major part of our lives together.

Lynn got me into eventing, and I competed up to Training Level. I was fitting in riding including lessons and clinics while I was practicing OB/GYN and then specializing in infertility treatments, including IVF.  On nearly every vacation we would take our helmets, and we usually found an opportunity to ride, from Australia to British Columbia to Chile.  We moved from Massachusetts to New Hampshire in 1990.  I commuted to, and continued to practice in, the Boston area.  I was re-introduced to foxhunting and was hooked. After a few years, Lynn started hunting, and she was hooked too.  We could spend more time on horseback than in the trailer (foxhunting vs eventing)!  We hunted up and down the East Coast and bought a hunt box in Virginia.  We hunted like crazy folks, sometimes four times a week, for close to 15 years, and made four trips to Ireland to foxhunt. 

I stopped riding about two years ago except for the occasional trail ride.  A month ago, after watching the Equestrian World Championships in Denmark I asked Lynn if she thought I could do a Century Club ride. “Why not?” One of her horses, Rusty, was 23 and I was about to turn 77.

Lynn bought Summon (aka: Rusty), her first dressage horse, in 2011. Over subsequent years, she slowly transitioned from foxhunting to dressage. Rusty is an American-bred Dutch Warmblood, “home schooled.”  Lynn has done a great job with him, now schooling Prix St. Georges, but she doesn’t show him.  So, for Rusty and me, it’s been many years out of the show ring!

Lynn was a tough coach (aided by Iris Eppinger and Deb Dean-Smith).  The team came through on September 18 at the Central Vermont Dressage Association schooling show, held at the Green Mountain Horse Association; I received a 64.828%, riding Training Test 3!

I thank The Dressage Foundation for the Century Club, for getting me back on a horse, and for trying dressage. I’d like to do another Century Club ride, at a higher level, on a younger horse!!