Buck Davidson Wins Jersey Fresh CCI3*
RELEASE: May 11, 2014
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Amber Heintzberger for USEA
Article originally posted at www.useventing.com
Davidson and Copper Beech (StockImageServices.com)
When Buck Davidson found his lucky red socks stashed in the corner of his camper the other day, he knew it was a good omen. Then, when he and Copper Beech scored 43 in dressage – the horse’s owner Carl Segal’s favorite number – he figured he had this event in the bag. Who can argue with fate?
Sunday, Davidson (Riegelsville, Pa.) and the eight-year-old Irish gelding won the CCI3* at the Jersey Fresh Three-Day Event when they finished on 50.8 with a clear round, moving up from second place when overnight leader Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Fugitive had a rail down.
Davidson credits working with U.S. Eventing Team show jumping coach Silvio Mazzoni over the winter. “He’s worked a lot on my position and used exercises to help the horses gain confidence. This horse has a great disposition and doesn’t get too rattled or excited.
"Talking to Phillip [Dutton], both he and I rode probably the same, maybe getting too close to the jumps and trying to get them to be careful that way, and I feel like I have confidence in myself, that if you tell me to do something I can do it, and Silvio has taken a lot of time with me. I feel like you can improve the dressage four points or whatever, but if you have one rail that’s four points right there. Both of my horses jumped well at Kentucky too, so it’s exciting.”
Phillip Dutton (West Grove, Pa.), said that Fernhill Fugitive jumped well, but he was more concerned about the oxer than the vertical in the combination and took his leg off too soon, and had the rail down. He was pleased with the horse’s performance and their second place finish.
“This was a bit of a breakthrough for him to put in three good phases,” he said. “I always knew there was a good horse in there, but he’s been slow to mature.”
In the CCI** Emily Beshear celebrated mother’s day by winning aboard her gorgeous, eight-year-old grey Trakehner mare, Shame on the Moon. Beshear’s 11-year-old son Nicholas was home for a soccer game, but husband Jeff was grooming at the event. Lucky for her the top few riders had rails down so she could afford the eight jumping penalties added in the final phase, while Melissa Miller benefitted from a clear round to move up three places into second riding her 14-year-old off-the-track Thoroughbred, High Finance.
“I had never jumped this mare after a cross-country run, so I didn’t really know what to expect,” said Beshear. “She can get a little nervous in the ring so I knew my job was to support her. I knew we had a little wiggle room, and if I rode calm she’d be okay but if I got tense she could start jumping erratically. At the end of the day I definitely got a little bit lucky, but that’s part of the game.”
Beshear, who resides in Somerset, Va., said when she bought the mare last December they joked, “She’s so fancy she should go win Jersey”, and is thrilled that her wish came true. “I’m pretty excited. This weekend for me was more about the cross-country run; I know that in the technical phases, while she has improving to do. She’s pretty good. I came into today not worrying too much about how it went, because I know I’ve got the right horse for the future.”
Miller (Cincinnatti, Ohio) had one rail down at fence four, but said she was happy with her round. “He can get low in his shoulders and his arch nemesis is the big square oxers, and this course was full of those, so I couldn’t be happier with him,” she said. “He was spot-on on cross-country yesterday and he hasn’t felt that good in a long time. He’s a quirky, finicky horse.”
High Finance, called “Finn” in the barn, colicked Thursday night after dressage; Miller debated withdrawing from the competition and slept at the barn Thursday night, but Miller said the veterinarians and ground jury were very supportive. “When I left the start box on cross-country he wanted to run, so I let him. I knew if he wasn’t feeling one hundred per cent we were stopping right then and there.”
The horse previously had Potomac Horse Fever and laminitis; last year he had some soundness issues and she dropped him back to preliminary level. “He’s almost been put down several times in his lifetime, so we’re lucky he’s here,” she said. Miller, who is a professional rider and trainer and generally finds horses off the track, hopes to compete Finn at the Fair Hill International this fall, and meanwhile is looking for a couple of young horses to bring along.