October 22, 2015 — Bruce “Buck” Davidson Jr. made it look easy in the dressage ring today. He dazzled the judges to land three of his four entered horses in the top three to begin the USEF National One-Star Eventing Championship for the Richard Collins Trophy at the Hagyard Midsouth Three-Day & Team Challenge. He and Legion Kat topped the leaderboard with a score of 37.50. With a score of 38.30, Sydney Hagaman and Diablo Tejano have the early lead for the USEF National Junior and Young Rider Championship for the Harry T. Peters Trophy.
“Legion Kat is a super nice horse and consistent in dressage. He has a great brain, is a beautiful mover, and reliable. He doesn’t have a weak movement; he’s on par for what he does,” said Davidson.
Right behind Legion Kat, Natalie Sandler’s 2006 Thoroughbred gelding, was Davidson with his wife’s (Andrea Davidson) Summer Sleigh Ride, a 2008 Thoroughbred gelding. For a horse that is just learning at this level, he came across confident and strong, especially in his canter movements, to earn a score of 40.30.
Buck Davidson took third place with Escariz Du Rona. He and the 2009 KWPN mare, owned by Andrea Davidson, scored a 42.10 and showed off pretty trot work for the judges. Just like Legion Kat and Summer Sleigh Ride, Escariz Du Rona executed a near flawless test. Much of these horses’ success goes to Andrea, who Buck gives credit for training so well.
Heading into tomorrow’s cross-country course, Davidson knows his horses have the experience to perform well. When it comes to Legion Kat, “He needs to show me he’s ready for the next step. He has a great gallop and is a good jumper; I just need to make sure I give him a good ride.”
In the USEF National Junior and Young Rider Championship for the Harry T. Peters Trophy, Sydney Hagaman came out relaxed, which fed into Diablo Tejano and resulted in very fluid gaits. She and her own 2003 Thoroughbred gelding stood out because of his good trot work, and the combination was awarded with a nice score.
“I was like I just have to get out there and do it and make it look good, instead of looking like everyone else. The leg yields could have been a bit better. Overall, I’m really happy with how he went. His medium canters were on point,” said Hagaman.
Tomorrow Hagaman’s just looking to have some fun and stay relaxed. “Tomorrow is his favorite part, so I just want to go out and get it done. He needs to pay attention to me as he tends to let go and have too much fun sometimes, so I want him to keep his focus.”
For a horse that is new to dressage, Caroline Martin could not be more proud her own Danger Mouse as he exceeded all her expectations with a score of 44.70 for second place. The 2008 Quarter Horse gelding displayed nice trot work and lateral movements, and he nailed the canter work because of his lengthening ability.
“Today was a huge mile marker for him; he is a great mover, with great natural balance, but not yet fully trained in dressage. I thought all the stars aligned for him today. Just thinking back to a few months ago when I did his first show, and I had to ride him in a jump saddle because I couldn’t keep him balanced. Now, he’s doing a one-star in a tough division so I’m pretty excited. For where he is at, he did better than I thought he would,” said Martin.
Erica Jarrell and Uni Sprite scored a 49.70 for third place. Brenda Jarrell’s 2005 Welsh Sport Horse exhibited great canter lengthening but was a little hesitant in the walk. “There is always some risk of jig with him so I don’t want to push him too hard. I want to see where we are tomorrow. He’s a total cross-country machine. He tells me where we’re at on every fence so I’m just going to ride efficient lines and test if we can go to the next level at the near future,” said Jarrell.
Cross country begins tomorrow at 12:00 pm EST.