Buck Davidson’s 15-year-old four-star mount My Boy Bobby has been officially retired from competition, according to Davidson and owner Carl Segal.
This morning, Jan. 31, EventingNation.com reposted a Tweet by their sponsor Ecogold, saying “Buck Davidson no longer rides My Boy Bobby, who will have a happy future at a lower level.” Segal and Davidson both denied the latter rumor, however.
“There’s absolutely no question that we’ve made the decision to retire Bobby, but there are no plans to event him at the lower levels,” said Segal, of Pottersville, N.J. “I don’t know where that rumor started, but there’s no reason to do that. He’s had an amazing, illustrious career, and we’ve just decided at his age and at the vet’s recommendation he just shouldn’t compete at the higher levels anymore. And if he’s not competing at the higher levels, why should he compete at the lower ones?
“We don’t want to chase it,” Segal continued. “Some people just keep going and going and going until the horse breaks, but we figure it’s good for an athlete to go out on top sometimes.”
“Bobby” was imported from Ireland as a young horse, and Jessica Kiener brought the gelding along for most of his career. Davidson took over the ride in 2008 and took the chestnut Irish Sport Horse to the four-star level, finishing third at the Rolex Kentucky CCI**** in 2009. The pair also won the CIC*** at The Fork (N.C.) twice and the Wits End CIC***-W (Ont.). Bobby was also the Chronicle's 2009 Eventing Horse of the Year.
“He maybe was never the most perfectly built horse, but he has a heart of gold,” Davidson said. “We’re going to miss having Bobby at the shows, because he was a pretty consistent winner for me, but it’s cool to have a horse that’s done all that be sound and happy and have a good life.”
Bobby sustained a leg injury before the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in September, and he’s been rehabbing in Florida over the winter. Kiener, who has remained his main day-to-day jockey throughout the past decade, has been legging him up.
“I actually saw him down at Rocking Horse [Horse Trials in Altoona, Fla.] yesterday,” Segal said. “He was just there in the trailer babysitting the young horse Jess was competing, and he did an amazing job. Always a horse you can count on!”
Segal said Bobby will remain in work, whether he’s wintering in Florida or summering in New Jersey. The gelding doesn’t like being sedentary, so he’s not ready to be a pasture ornament just yet.
“It’s kind of sad and sentimental for us to see his career coming to an end,” said Segal, who co-owns with his wife Cassandra. “He was the first eventing horse we ever bought 10 years ago, and it’s been a fantastic sport for us."
Davidson still trains and competes several horses owned by the Segals, including his 2010 WEG mount, Ballynoe Castle RM.