Professional Riders Organization Caps Successful Weekend at Kentucky
Thursday, April 30, 2009
PRO Founder Buck Davidson Top Performing American
Lexington, K.Y. The Professional Riders Organization ended a successful weekend at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event on Sunday. The weekend included significant press interest, an exciting membership drive and PRO riders winning top honors. “We were overwhelmed by the reception the Professional Riders Organization received in Kentucky,” said Craig Thompson, a distinguished event rider and PRO founder. “Not only are we grateful for the encouragement and excitement riders and spectators expressed, we are extremely proud of how our riders performed.”
At a well-attended press conference on Friday, PRO founders, including Thompson, Phillip Dutton, Buck Davidson, Allison Springer and Laura VanderVliet, fielded questions from the media and outlined PRO’s goal to make eventing more dynamic for both riders and spectators. Throughout the weekend, PRO’s presence was felt on the course and in the stands. A successful membership drive yielded heightened interest and a significant amount of new members, both at the professional and fan levels. Meanwhile, PRO members won top finishes in a strong field of international competitors.
PRO was formed in 2009 by a group of leading professional riders who felt they had a special obligation to and interest in strengthening the sport of eventing. In addition to representing the goals and objectives of professional riders, PRO is also dedicated to elevating the level of competition, contributing to ongoing rider education, improving the standards of competition and promoting safety while working to attract new fans, sponsors and participants.
Though formed with professional riders in mind, PRO plans to work with the eventing community to increase spectators’ involvement. As eventing grows in popularity, PRO will work with both current and prospective fans to raise its profile to that of more mainstream, high profile sports. Through partnership with sponsors and spectators, PRO will work to make eventing more exciting and dynamic as it continues to evolve.
Throughout the weekend, fans lined up at PRO’s booth for their favorite riders’ autographs and to purchase PRO merchandise, including hats and posters. Fans posed with Leslie Law’s Olympic Gold medal and Bobby Costello’s Pan American Games Gold medal. Acclaimed rider Bonnie Mosser brought her horse Merloch for photos. Bonnie, who was at Kentucky coaching, performed the test run with Merloch on Thursday morning. The 2008 Olympic alternates will next compete at the Badminton CCI**** in England next week.
The big winners of the weekend were Buck Davidson and Carl and Cassandra Segal’s My Boy Bobby. The pair placed third, and Buck was awarded the USEF Pinnacle Trophy as the highest placing American. “With such strong competition from across the Atlantic, I’m very proud of how we did,” remarked Davidson, an acclaimed rider and PRO founder.
Other finishes by PRO riders included:
- Phillip Dutton and Connaught in seventh place,
- Phillip Dutton and Woodburn in 12th place,
- Amy Tryon and Leyland in 13th place,
- Allison Springer and Arthur in 14th place,
- Buck Davidson and Ballynoe Castle RM in 15th place,
- Sara Dierks and Somerset II in 16th place,
- Jan Byyny and Syd Kent in 22nd place,
- Cayla Kitayama and Esker Riada in 28th place, and
- Stephanie Boyer and Macloud in 31st place.