Thursday, Jul. 25, 2024

Between Rounds – Buck Davidson

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After an injury put his spring season on hiatus, our columnist has seen many of our nation’s top events from a different—and sometimes unpleasant—vantage point.

Over the past weeks, since I broke my collarbone in mid-February, I’ve been a lot of things. I’ve been an owner, a trainer and a spectator at U.S. Eventing Association-sanctioned events.

Twelve years after his first team experience, our columnist thanks the individuals who made that medal bid and every one since then possible.

Here we are again, getting ready for a team trip to Mexico; the Pan American Games are right around the corner.

I rode on my first team at the 1999 Pan Ams in Winnipeg with Pajama Game, and wow, how the times have changed since then! Twelve years ago, I was “the young guy”—only 22—and I had absolutely no clue that I was going to represent my country until the day before we left for Canada.

Our columnist sees a gaping hole of missed opportunities when it comes to forging relationships with young fans.

This is the most exciting time of the year if you’re an eventing fan, owner, rider or groom. The big events are right around the corner. I’m very fortunate to have rides in four three-day events in the next five weeks, and I’m especially excited about having a chance to ride at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton CCI**** in England the weekend before Rolex Kentucky.

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Our columnist believes U.S. eventing will have to combat complacency on multiple fronts to have any chance at a team medal in two years.

As I sat on a plane coming home from Lexington, Ky., I thought about how everyone that I talked to had something to say about the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. They loved it, they thought it was too expensive, they were proud of their U.S. athletes. And yes, after the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team failed to medal, some were disappointed with us.

After a trip to The Event At Rebecca Farm, our columnist wonders whether some riders are working hard enough to be worthy of the nation’s best events and the dedicated individuals behind them.

What a week I just had.

Our columnist sees too many eventers honing their focus on dressage and show jumping and allowing their cross-country skills to suffer.

As I sit here at my computer, reflecting after The Fork CIC*** (N.C.), it’s hard to keep from wondering, “Are my horses as ready as they can be for their fast-approaching three-days? Is the dressage where it needs to be, or can I eke out a few more points? Can I leave the colored poles up on Sunday?”

Our newest columnist sees many improvements in eventing but also a few challenges that yet remain.

I’m sitting at my desk on a Monday afternoon, sore from a fall, the day after the toughest week in Ocala, Fla., has finished. From Feb. 13-21, I had 12 rides at the Florida Horse Park Winter II Horse Trials, three in the Rocking Horse Winter II advanced one day, and 11 more at Rocking Horse Horse Trials in Altoona over the weekend. This past week symbolizes all that is great with our sport, but it also shows how much we still need to improve.

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