Tyler, TX - It was written all over Buck Davidson’s face – he was thrilled with Caroline Martin’s Petite Flower and proud to win the $40,000 2014 Adequan USEA Gold Cup Final at the Texas Rose Horse Park. They jumped double-clear over Richard Jeffery’s challenging course, edging out overnight leaders and defending Gold Cup Champions Laine Ashker and Anthony Patch.
But even though he won his inaugural trip to Texas for the Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships, presented by VTO Saddlery, and a hefty $20,000 prize check, Davidson was quick to deflect praise about his performance. He chalked much of today’s result up to luck.
“That’s why we play the game, right?” said Davidson of Ocala, Florida, who ended his weekend on a score of 39.6. “That’s what happened to Laine. You win some you lose some, but I think everyone rode really well. Sometimes you’re lucky and sometimes you’re not.”
In typical fashion for Davidson, he also credited his horse Petite Flower (Amber’s Lust – Tears of a Loss) for the end result.
“Flower did what she always does and gave me her 110 percent in the show jumping, and I just tried to stay out of her way,” he said.
2013 Adequan USEA Gold Cup Champion Laine Ashker may have been one unlucky rail from defending her title, but admitted, “If I had to be second to anyone, I’d want it to be my coach!”
“I’m ecstatic, he gave me three great phases,” said Ashker of Richmond, Va., who plans to aim Anthony Patch for the Rolex Kentucky CCI4* in April of next year. “I’m going to buy my cross-country video because it was just one of the best rides. I guess today was a little unlucky, and my inexperience shows and I just didn’t get him quite round enough through the turn. Like coach said, you win some, you lose some.”
Matthew Brown maintained his position near the top of the leaderboard on Super Socks BCF, going from second to third place with one dropped rail.
“I think the lesson I took away from today is I need to trust him,” said Brown of Petaluma, California, whose next stop is the Fair Hill International CCI3* in Elkton, Maryland. “He was jumping great and I just picked too much to one fence. I knew I was going to have it down. I’m getting there with him and I’m starting to trust him a lot more on cross-country and I just need to carry that over into show jumping.”
One of the most amazing moments of the day was a tenacious save made by Texan Avery Klunick. Third in the ring in the Gold Cup division, she had a refusal at a vertical coming around the corner from the in-gate and was tossed up her horse’s neck, pulling his bridle over his head. Instead of dismounting or asking for a helping hand to put the bridle back on her horse, both of which would have resulted in elimination, she reached forward and managed to get the bridle back on her horse's head and finished her round, embodying the eventer’s grit and spirit, and her horse’s name, In It To Win It.
Seven other division Champions were crowned today, taking home cash and prizes from an incredible number of supporting sponsors.
The Merial Open Intermediate division was won by Tamra Smith with Twizted Syster, who added nothing to her dressage score all weekend, finishing on 33.3 penalties. This time the runner-up position went to Buck Davidson with Quasar, who, having led after dressage had one unfortunate rail in show jumping today to drop back to second on a score of 34.4. Texan Bailey Moran rounded out the top three, jumping cleanly today in stadium to finish on 35.8 with Loughnatousa Caislean.
Fellow Texan Megan Noelle Wilson took the Junior/Young Rider Preliminary division with Ghypsy, also finishing on her dressage score of 27.6 penalties.
Complete results and detailed scores for all fifteen divisions, as well as the stadium jumping timetable for the remaining eight divisions for Sunday may be found at livescore.useventing.com.
The 2014 Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships and the 2014 Adequan USEA Gold Cup Championships would not be possible without the following sponsors: Nutrena, VTO Saddlery, Adequan, Merial, Broadstone Equine Insurance Company, Devoucoux, Standlee, Charles Owen, Fleeceworks, Point Two Air Jackets, Professional's Choice, Dubarry of Ireland, WeatherBeeta, The Chronicle of the Horse, Omega Alpha, Auburn Laboratories Inc., Smartpak, Dever, Theraplate, Stackhouse Saddles, Equine Art by Julie, Flair, CWD, Equine Art by Julie, RevitaVet, Grand Meadows, Ovation, Eventing Training Online, Back on Track, the City of Lindale Texas, and more.