Buck Davidson, one of the top riders in America, won the CCI 3-star competition at The Event at Rebecca Farm on July 24, capping the 15th annual equestrian triathlon with an exciting victory.
Davidson, consistently ranked among the top four riders in the U.S. in recent years, claimed the top prize after placing third a year ago.
Davidson piloted Carl Siegel and Sherrie Martin’s 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse, Copper Beach, to a flowing clear round over Chris Barnard’s iconic showjumping course. Davidson entered Sunday’s final competition in second place behind Hannah Sue Burnett on Under Suspection, a Holsteiner owned by Mary Ann Ghadban. Davidson finished the competition with an overall score of 48.7. Burnett had one unlucky rail down, dropping her behind Davidson to a score of 49.6.
“I’d never want anything bad to happen to anyone else but I am really happy not to be second. And it’s great to have my friends here next to me,” Davidson said, pointing to Burnett and CCI 3-star third-place finisher, Hawley Bennett-Awad.
It was an emotional return to the three-star level for Bennett-Awad aboard her new mount, Jollybo.
“I have unbelievable people behind me and one of them is Buck. To put my red coat on again is very special,” said Bennett-Awad.
Jollybo and Bennett-Awad finished in third place overall with a score of 57.9.
Davidson held his overnight lead in the CCI 2-star, jumping a double clear round to finish on 43.2 penalties with Christine Turner’s Halimey, a Trakehner stallion.
“I’ve got to give credit to Michael Pollard. He’s done all the work with this horse,” said Davidson. “Hal was great today, great in all three phases. I really didn’t do very much other than steer.”
RevitaVet Elijah, owned and ridden by James Alliston, finished second in the CCI 2-star with 44.8 penalties. Kevin Baumgardner had enthusiastic cheering as he and his own Wembley jumped clear to take third on a score 56.9.
The competitions concluded another spectacular event at Rebecca Farm, which once again featured 10 courses ranging from novice to Olympian qualifier. Scottish equestrian Ian Stark was the course’s designer for the fifth year in a row. Stark has won multiple Olympic medals and was inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.