Much of the international sports scene has turned their sights to the 2014 Winter Olympic games in Sochi.
However, the United States Equestrian Federation has named the teams for the Nations Cup CDIO3* that started Tuesday in Wellington, Fla., and Aiken’s Shawna Harding and Silva Martin are part of the roster that is representing the U.S. dressage team.
Harding will be riding Tonya Rowe’s Rigo, a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding, and Martin will be riding the Rosa Cha W Syndicate’s Rosa Cha W.
Martin received the email about being named to the team this past week, she said.
“I’m very excited and feel honored to represent the U.S. for the first time,” said Martin, who is German born and trained.
Rose Cha W is a Warmblood mare that was foaled in 2004, and the rider has an incredibly strong bond with the horse, as it was Martin and her husband, U.S. Olympic eventer Boyd Martin and his family, that bred the mare in Australia, she said.
“Boyd’s mom Toy raised her (Rosa Cha W) there until she was three,” said Martin. “Boyd broke her in as a 2-year-old. Then she had a foal before we flew her to the U.S.”
A spirited horse, Martin described Rosa Cha W as a wild child, but things began to change when she reached the age of six.
However, it’s the strong bond between horse and rider that have made the pair a winning combination. The relationship between Rosa Cha W and Martin continues to evolve.
“She has my back as much as I have hers,” said Martin. “I love that mare! I know she tries for me 200 percent every day.”
The U.S. team consists of two Grand Prix riders and two small tour rides, which is Prix St. Georges and Intermediare 1. Harding and Martin are the small tour rides, said Martin.
“Rosa’s still young, turning 9-years-old this year,” said Martin. “I’m planning on moving her up to Grand Prix later this year.”