Martinoff Makes It a Winning Weekend With Odlum Brown Ltd Grand Prix 1.40m

Langley, BC — It was a winning weekend at the Western Family for Ayla Martinoff (CAN). Hot off a win in Friday’s Highland Farms Ltd Welcome and a pair of second place finishes in the YETI Welcome and the Langley Grand Prix the week prior at tbird, the 34-year old is riding a streak.

And it showed on Sunday.

Aboard Calloway, her winning partner from Friday, Martinoff topped a nine-horse jump-off in the 1.40m Odlum Brown Ltd Grand Prix—and definitively. The pair shaved more than two seconds off the time to beat to stop the clock in 40.81 seconds and take over the lead. Last week’s double winner Kassidy Keith and veteran partner Havana finished second in 43.17 seconds and Georgia Knight and Ecolano vs Romano third in 43.88.

The lead changed hands with nearly every combination over Peter Holmes’s winding jump off track. Locklyn Williamson was first to post a double clear, crossing the timers in 48.87. Sloane Betker and Kristalstar shaved three seconds off, finishing in 45.78. Jamie Ackerman and Driek, winners of last week’s Jr/Am Jumper Classic 1.30m, took it down to 45.04 only for Knight and Ecolano vs Romano to drop it to 43.88 one round later and Keith to 43.17 one more after that.

But none came close to Martinoff and Calloway.

The pair set a speedy standard from the start, galloping to the first and using Calloway’s natural foot speed and cat-like agility to blaze through the timers two and half seconds fastest.

“Everyone had gone clear and reasonably fast. So I thought, well, you either have to go clear really fast or you have four faults and be [the equivalent] of a slow clear anyways [on the leaderboard],” said Martinoff.

Homebred and developed by Martinoff, the 10-year-old grey has only grown in competitiveness over the years.

“He’s gotten so good. I’ve known him his whole life, so we’ve grown up together in the ring. Since he was seven, I’ve been able to go fast as long as I know he’s comfortable. But lately, he knows my every move before I do. He’s so smart.

“He really locks onto the jumps and wants to give me his all.

Martinoff, a 2023 George & Dianne Tidball Scholarship winner, credits her time in the ring at tbird last season for the success she’s currently experiencing with Calloway and his full sister, A Crown Royale.

“It was really great to get to compete in these classes last year without having to worry about winning the prize money back. I had two down almost every time,” she laughed, “but I got to practice a lot and it’s paying off now.”

Calloway is himself a payoff of sorts and one that’s less a product of careful pairing than he is a happy fluke, said Martinoff—albeit one from two very well-bred horses. Ten years ago, Martinoff was riding for Fairway Farms and was given his dam, A Little Bit, in exchange for construction work by her father. When the Martinoff decided to breed her, another client stepped up.

“I was also working for the owner of [the stallion] Capone and she sent me home with measuring cups full of semen,” shared Martinoff.

The result: two national Grand Prix horses that Martinoff will step up to international ring next month at tbird’s Summer Fort Welcome and Summer Fort Classic.

In the meantime, however, Calloway will enjoy a well-earned week off.

“I’m driving home and I’m going to go put him out in the field with his brother for a week. I won’t really ride him other than maybe bareback to the pub for lunch or something,” said Martinoff, noting that the local restaurant has a paddock for horses.

“I’ll start flatting him next week and then start amping up for Thunderbird in August.”

Odlum Brown Ltd Grand Prix 1.40m
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Calloway / Ayla Martinoff / CAN / Ayla Martinoff / 0/0 40.81
2. Havana / Kassidy Keith / CAN / Kassidy Keith / 0/0 43.17
3. Ecolano VS Romano / Georgia Kinght / CAN / Georgia Knight / 0/0 43.88
4. Driek / Jaimie Ackermann / CAN / Jaimie Ackerman / 0/0 45.04
5. Kristalstar / Sloane Betker / CAN / Betker Horse Park / 0/0 45.78
6. Cassandro / Locklyn Williamson / CAN /  Graham Williamson / 0/0 48.87
7. Canberre 59 / Sloane Betker / CAN / Sloane Betker / 0/4 44.27
8. Hatari / Sierra Geisler / USA / Sierra Geisler / 0/4 46.05
9. Almquist / Locklyn Williamson / CAN / Locklyn Williamson / 0/4 52.65
10. Ero Del Pierire / Georgia Knight / CAN / Georgia Knight / 2 92.27