Above: Buck Davidson on Reggie, competing at the 2014 Rolex. Below: Bruce Davidson and his son, Buck.
FEATURED: BRUCE “BUCK” DAVIDSON JR. (SEE PREVIOUS PAGE)
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ridden with such notables as Andrew Nicholson and Mark Todd. “My dad was a role model, but Andrew was always big for me because of his work ethic and sheer determination. I’ve been so lucky to have these people in my life.”
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hen talking to Buck Davidson about his success, the constant theme is how humble and modest he is. He is quick to say how lucky he has been, and how grateful he is to his hardworking team and the wonderful owners behind him. In an interview with Eventing Nation, Buck said, “I am super lucky that I get to do for a job what most people do for a hobby, and people trust me with their horses.” The only thing he ever seems to take credit for is working hard, but even then he says, “I love what I do and the people I work with. We’re like a big family, so it really doesn’t seem like work to me.” He credits the coaches he has had over the years for teaching him not only to ride, but also other life lessons, like his work ethic. “So much in the sport is up to chance, the only thing I can really control is how hard I work, so I put everything I have into it, and so far it seems to have worked for me.” When talking about mentors, he first mentions his father, Bruce Davidson, the two-time Olympic event rider. Buck also has
And Buck certainly does work hard. Leading his team of 60 horses, he may ride as many as 15 at one event. His team travels around the county to compete at various events that he chooses carefully to meet the needs of the horses and his students. His goal is always to offer a positive experience for everyone involved. Watching Team BDJ arrive at an event is an impressive sight. An entourage of gleam-
ing white tractor-trailers and matching pickup trucks roll up, and working students and grooms jump out. They all know their tasks and work together, and before you know it, the horses are happily munching hay in their stalls. No story about Buck would be complete without mentioning his relationship with his top horse, Carl and Cassie Segal’s Ballynoe Castle RM, an Irish sport horse gelding, known as Reggie in the barn. The horse had impressed a friend of Buck’s when he saw him as a 5-year-old in Ireland, but Buck almost passed on him because of a poor flexion test at the initial vetting. Luckily, instinct told him to have the horse re-examined by Brendan Furlong, head vet for the U.S. Eventing Team. Fortunately, Furlong approved the purchase of the horse, and he went on to earn the title of the highest-scoring event horse in the country. Buck has ridden Reggie throughout his career from the preliminary level onward. He completed his first three-star competition in 2008 and has won top placings at numerous national and international competitions. He says, “Everyone thinks his or her horse is perfect, but