Boyd and His Horse

Many don’t realize that there is a compelling story behind the equestrian rider Boyd Martin and horse Neville Bardos that really talks of life, love, tragedy, and the Olympics. In the following, you’re going to discover a fascinating story about Neville Bardos and Boyd Martin, and how the horse and individual had to overcome obstacle and tragedy in order to be where they are today.

Neville Bardos

Born in Australia in August of 1999, Neville Bardos, an Australian thoroughbred, would go on to win a number of competitions and would eventually become the USEF 2012 horse of the year. But before this happens, there is an amazing story behind this animal that equates to struggle, competitions, and wins.

Originally, Neville really didn’t look like much in the beginning. On the racetrack, Neville’s performance wasn’t all that great. In fact, his training and racing was extremely poor, and this was more than evident at the Kembla Grange Racetrack. In 2002, at the equestrian center and Hunter Valley, the then 3-year-old gelding would be put up for sale. Although there were a number of equestrian riders present, none of them would take notice to Neville Bardos, and for good reason.

Many had felt that this horse simply could not jump or move properly. This audience included Heath Ryan and Gordon Bishop who at one point became totally unimpressed. After Mr. Bishop passed on the opportunity to purchase Neville, many others who were present past as well. The only other option would be to send this animal to the knackery, and the decision was almost final until Neville caught the eye of Boyd Martin.

Boyd Martin an Australian Born US Equestrian Rider

Mr. Martin saw something in this animal that no one else could ever expect. After paying a little less than $1000 US, Mr. Martin would go on to train Neville Bardos who would go on to become one of the most unique horses of the era. In the beginning, the training which included jumping, dressage, and cross-country proved to be quite challenging. As time went on, Neville began to show promise in 2006, won the Coffs Harbour CIC**. After winning a few more important events, Neville would be imported to America were some fascinating numbers would be revealed which would eventually put Neville on the international stage.

However, tragedy would strike and catch Neville in a barn fire with 10 other horses belonging to Boyd Martin. Martin, driven by love, commitment, and companionship, disregarded firefighters warnings and raced into the barn to save the horses that were trapped – Neville being one of them. He felt that this was his horse that he saved from a burning building. Six horses have died in the resulting fire, and Neville was also injured as a result. All of this was in a 14 month period which led up to the 2012 Olympics in London. Because of the injuries, Mr. Martin had to make an important decision to mount Otis Barbotiere instead of Neville for the Olympic trials.

Neville Bardos would be saved twice by Boyd Martin and become one of his most beloved animals he has ever owned. Although the story of Neville Bardos and Boyd Martin is quite compelling, it’s important to remember this is how bonds are built between equestrian riders and their mounts. Although Neville did recover from this tragedy, the fate of his horse has always been in the hands of Boyd Martin, a unique individual to say the least.

Meet Boyd’s Horses