Springfield, OH (October 26, 2017)— This year’s Friesian National Championships was one of the most competitive to date, featuring some of the country’s best Friesian and part-bred Friesian horses in peak condition. Owners, riders, and trainers had all worked hard to be there and were busy preparing and showing their horses. During the Saturday of the show, competition was put on hold while the International Friesian Show Horse Association Annual Meeting took place. At the meeting, trainer Benjamin Boyd was recognized with the Jacksonville Equestrian Center Sportsmanship Award for the outstanding sportsmanship he displayed when a difficult situation arose during the show.
Boyd, of Double B’s Training Center in Bloomingdale, Ohio, brought several horses and riders to this year’s World Show. After one of his riders, Lainy Larkoska, won the Part-bred Dressage Suitability Open class, Boyd realized that he had wrongly entered Larkoska into that class. “She was previously entered into a Dressage Hack class, and once a horse has been shown in a Dressage Hack class, they are ineligible to enter a Dressage Suitability Open class,” explained Boyd. “I took it upon myself to disqualify us from that class. I looked up the rule, and made sure that the Reserve Champion was awarded the Grand Champion Ribbon.”
Despite the mix up in that class, Boyd and his riders had an excellent show, coming home with twelve World Championship titles in multiple disciplines including dressage, western, hunt seat, and contest. Boyd himself showed three different horses, and while he is certainly competitive, it’s the people and the relationships that are most important to Boyd. “The friendships and the genuine people keep me coming back and showing the horses,” he said.
Boyd has been a member of the International Friesian Show Horse Association for four years, and feels a real sense of community with the membership. “Everyone is friendly to everyone,” he said. “The shows are a lot of fun to go to—you make new friends and see old friends.”
When the Jacksonville Equestrian Center presented Boyd with the Sportsmanship Award at the Annual Meeting, his fellow International Friesian Show Horse Association members congratulated him with a standing ovation. His commitment to the Friesian horse community was demonstrated by his adherence to the rules, even when they did not work in his favor, and the Jacksonville Equestrian Center was proud to honor this example of sportsmanship.
“It was a surprise,” said Boyd humbly. “I felt that I was just doing the right thing. Good sportsmanship is something that I strive for, and I am honored that they acknowledged me for it.”
Being a facility where numerous competitive horse shows take place, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, located in Jacksonville, Florida, knows that successful events are made more so by good sportsmanlike conduct from all exhibitors. For more information on the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com or call 904-255-4215.
Photo: Trainer Benjamin Boyd was recognized with the Jacksonville Equestrian Center Sportsmanship Award at this year’s Friesian National Championships Show (Photo courtesy Avalon Photography, LLC)