This week’s episode of the Practical Horseman Podcast, sponsored by Horse Report System, is with international eventer Buck Davidson.
When you hear Buck’s given name, Bruce Davidson Junior, you might initially connect him with his father, five-time Olympian Bruce Davidson Senior. But as Buck and I spoke at the inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill in October, what really struck me was how many of his answers focused on the well-being of the horse. Early in the interview, Buck talks about the influence of his father and mother, Carol Davidson, and how they instilled in him a work ethic and belief that the horse comes first. If you don’t care for the horse, Buck recalls them saying, “you can forget about how good you ride.”
Similarly, when I asked Buck about living with the Davidson name, he explained that any pressure comes from within—from his own expectations of whether he is doing a good job for the horses he rides, not only with results but in making sure they are happy and healthy.
Buck and I also chatted about the influential horses in his career, and he spoke of, of course, Ballynoe Castle RM, otherwise known as Reggie, who brought Buck to two World Equestrian Games in 2010 and 2014 and earned the U.S. Eventing Association’s highest scoring horse of all time in 2014. Buck also discusses Park Trade, who didn’t have Reggie’s resume but taught Buck about patience and being very clear to the horse about what he wants—mainly because if Buck didn’t, he ended up with a lot of broken bones.
As for Buck’s training philosophy, he shares that it’s about consistency and making sure the horses know exactly what is expected of them. If you’re driving a car and a turn is coming up, he explains, you don’t expect the car to turn on its own. The same is true of the horse.
Those are just a FEW of the insights that you’ll glean from our conversation, where Buck also discusses being father to his two young daughters, Aubrey and Ellie, with his wife, Andrea.
To fill you in on more of Buck’s background, he grew up working and riding on his parent’s farm in Unionville, Pennsylvania. Buck was just 22 years old when he and Pajama Game made their U.S. team debut at the 1999 Pan American Games. He’s won the Markham Trophy as the highest-placing Young Rider in a USET championship three times. He’s finished in the top 10 at the Kentucky Three-Day Event six times since 1998, taking the Pinnacle Trophy for highest-place U.S. rider in 2009 and 2013. He was a Pan-American Team member is 2011 with Absolute Liberty and the alternate for the 2012 U.S. Olympic eventing team. Buck won the Jersey Fresh CCI4*-L in 2014 with Copper Beach and in 2015 with Reggie. And in 2016, he and Copper Beach were first in the Rebecca Farm CCI4*-L. He started his own business, BDJ Equestrian, when he was 26 years old, and currently runs it out of Chesterland Farm in Unionville.
Thanks to the sponsor of this week’s podcast, Horse Report System. Designed with busy trainers and riders in mind, Horse Report System’s mobile app helps you coordinate horse health and training logs, stable tasks, and staff and client communication on any phone, tablet, or computer! Add demographics, photos and documents, assign team members, easily record training notes, appointments, and care needs. Stop hunting through notebooks or text messages to find out when a horse last had his hocks injected, who is due for vaccinations, or how a horse is progressing in training. Improve efficiency, accountability, and communication by integrating Horse Report System into your program. See why users love the intuitive dashboard, uncomplicated design, and streamlined functionality and get a free demo today at www.horsereportsytem.com.