Lexington, KY. - Bruce "Buck" Davidson Jr. and Sydney Hagaman held on to their first place positions, following the show jumping phase, to secure the USEF One-Star Eventing National Championships as part of the Hagyard Midsouth Three-Day Event & Team Challenge. Davidson led the victory gallop with Legion Kat as they claimed the USEF One-Star Eventing National Championship for the Richard Collins Trophy on an overall score of 41.50. Hagaman and Diablo Tejano secured the USEF One-Star Eventing Junior and Young Rider National Championship for the Harry T. Peters Trophy with an overall score of 50.30.
Davidson (Ocala, Fla.) nabbed his second CCI1* win this year with Natalie Sandler's Legion Kat. The 2006 Thoroughbred gelding looked brilliant during Thursday's dressage test as he gave a graceful performance, proving his reliability, for a score of 37.5. They cruised through Friday's cross-country course without penalties to remain on their dressage score. During show jumping today, they had a rail down at fence seven, which tacked four penalties on to their score.
With a score of 44.30, Davidson and the 2008 Thoroughbred gelding Summer Sleigh Ride were named the Reserve Champions in the USEF One-Star Eventing National Championship. Although very green at the CCI1* level, Andrea Davidson's Summer Sleigh Ride gave an excellent dressage performance for a 40.3. They breezed through the cross-country course to remain on their dressage score. However, they knocked a rail down in show jumping which added four penalties to their overall score.
"It's always fun coming to the [Kentucky] Horse Park no matter what. They had a nice [cross-country] course yesterday. I'm really happy for Legion Kat and Summer Sleigh Ride; they were both really good. It was a good weekend for all the babies, and now we get to move forward. They'll go to Florida and get a little rest, probably take a month off, then hopefully come back stronger and better and ready to go next year," said Davidson.
Coming from behind to take third place was Danielle Dichting Busbee (Roswell, Ga.) and First Lyte, Meadowview Farm's 2006 Thoroughbred mare, with a score of 45.2. Their double-clear show jumping round gave them the edge. Davidson and Escariz Du Rona, Andrea's 2009 KWPN mare, struggled in show jumping as they had two rails down for eight penalties. This set them back to 10th place with a total score of 50.1. Busbee and First Lyte had a solid dressage test for a score of 45.2 and followed it with an error free run through the cross-country course.
If it were not for an outstanding dressage score, Hagaman (Danville, Ky.) and her own Diablo Tejano could have easily missed out on their first CCI1* title. The 2003 Thoroughbred gelding exhibited very fluid gaits and lovely trot work in their dressage test for a score of 38.3. They made it through the cross-country course easily, without penalties, to remain on their dressage score. However, they struggled in show jumping, knocking down three rails, giving an overall score of 50.3.
"This is so surreal; this is our first win in five years. We've had some show jumping issues over the years. Yeah, we took down three rails, but he was listening and jumping the best he ever jumped before. I think he was ready to come out and win it. He was great the entire weekend," said Hagaman.
Caroline Martin (Gwynedd Valley, Pa.) was the Reserve Champion in the USEF One-Star Eventing Junior and Young Rider National Championship. The Davidson protégé had the title in her reach; however, show jumping got the best of her and her own Danger Mouse. The combination had two rails down for an overall score of 52.7. She and the 2008 Warmblood gelding performed a good dressage test, full of lovely trot and lateral movements, for a score of 44.7. They tackled the cross-country course delicately, running at a slower pace than much of the field. That decision paid off as they still came under time without any penalties.
Because of a double-clear show jumping round, Erica Jarrel (Lincoln, Mass.) and her own Uni Sprite, a 2005 Welsh Sport Horse gelding, moved back into third place after riding at a slower pace on the cross-country course. They began the competition with a dressage score of 49.7 and added 3.60 in time penalties during cross-country for a total score of 53.3. They were one of two combinations in the Junior and Young Rider division who went double-clear in show jumping.