Thursday, April 29, 2010

Final Results for Rolex!

What an amazing trip it was to Rolex.  Boyd and Bruce couldn't have been more pleased with Lusty's performance.  From her relaxed dressage test, which I witnessed, to her XC and nearly clear stadium (only 1 rail), Lusty took Rolex like a seasoned professional!

Out of 70+ entries, Lusty finished 11th with a solid score of 63.2 in a highly competitive international field!

For all the results & story, please visit the official Rolex website.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Boyd's Comments on Rolex Showjumping

For an update on Boyd's show jumping on Lusty, please check out Boyd's Blog!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Double Clear for Lusty

I met with Boyd briefly after his 3 rides today.....and caught up regarding his ride on Lusty.  He reiterated what a thrill & honor it was to ride in Bruce's colors aboard such a great mare.  She went like a pro & only on a few occasions did her eyes get a bit big at some of the questions.....but otherwise, "the mare doesn't have a stop in her."

I was able to snap a few amateur photos at the head of the lake of both Boyd & Buck. 

Till tomorrow......LT

Buck's Interview on the Homepage of Rolex Website!

Buck &
 Titanium Photo: Michelle C. Dunn
Buck Davidson has a rich history here at Rolex.  He has been coming to this facility since the 1978 World Equestrian Games when his legendary father, Bruce Davidson, claimed back to back gold & made history.   When asked about his earliest childhood memories here, he harks back to the time during the 78 Worlds where he spent the majority of the event playing under the grandstand with his tractor, until the repo man came to town.  Poor Buck still misses that tractor.

With his family, Buck has been coming to Rolex throughout his entire life.  As a competitor, he rode his first Rolex as a 17 year old (early 90’s) on a horse called The Wolf, who was an enthusiastic runaway, taking  20 minutes to pull up on XC and knocking down most of the rails in stadium.  Back then, Buck generally rode the horses that were handed down to him.  Some were a bit challenging, but most were tremendously talented as well, which was apparent in the fact that he made it to Rolex at such a young age.   

During an Olympic year, Bruce had a busy schedule at Rolex with Eagle Lion, Heyday, Squelch and The Traveling Man….leaving Buck with the ride on Transama Flirt.  Buck pulled out all the stops (not literally), securing 4th place and beating his Dad on all his other mounts.  But Bruce still had the final say for Buck’s consideration for an Olympic spot, pulling him from the list for consideration, citing that he felt Buck wasn’t ready just yet.  Since then he’s certainly proven himself as one of the top horsemen in this country & internationally.

This year Buck is riding one of his newest stars, a handsome grey Thoroughbred gelding who he co-owns with his loyal friends, owners & supporters, the Segals.  When Buck originally purchased Titanium, he wanted to find a way to repay the Segals for all of their support.  After one of their initial events, where Ti scored a 65 in dressage, had a stop on XC & dropped rails in stadium……he introduced Ti to his new co-owners in the trailer.  Buck still grins at the thought of their facial expressions when he unveiled their newest present.  I’m sure their apprehension has long since faded with this talented horse.

Originally entered for Rolex were his two leading contenders for the WEG, My Boy Bobby, who was the
2009 Chronicle Event Horse of the Year& Ballynoe Castle RM.  The decision was made not to run them here at Rolex in preparation for a shot at the World Equestrian Games back here at the horse park in late September.  Both horses are positioned right where Buck wants them in their training.  Buck plans to take Reggie to several where he can keep him schooled & relaxed in his job.  In regards to Bobbi, he feels that his win at The Fork proved that he doesn’t need a lot of runs prior to his contention for the games.

There is so much history here for the Davidson family, so Rolex has become a type of “coming home” for Buck.  Every year he has anticipated the excitement of spring & the trip to Kentucky.   “Kentucky is where every American who events strives to come”, and for Buck it’s a reward for his team & all of their hard work.  After Rolex this year, he plans to team up again with his Dad by taking the ride on Cruise Lion until Bruce is fully recovered from his back surgery.  Their plan is to run Cruise at Bromont in preparation for Bruce to get back in the saddle for the WEG.  He shares so many memories of the horse park with his father; nothing would make him happier than to return here with his Dad for the WEG.  

Lisa Thomas is founder of
Mid-Atlantic Equestrian Services, a Website Design & Equestrian PR business which proudly supports several of the Rolex competitors including Boyd Martin, Hawley Bennett & Bruce Davidson.

What a Star!

Lusty entered the ring yesterday looking like she had done this a million times.  Her relaxed & content attitude was evident in her expression throughout the entire test.  Boyd commented that "I was thrilled with Rock on Rose – she was second to last to go and there was a packed house. She showed how much she’s matured in her training and I was over the moon."

I rang Bruce & Susie while we were back in the stables after the test.  It was great to hear Bruce so satisfied with his mare.  He & Susie were able to watch the entire warmup & test at home in high definition.  He is so thrilled with the pairing between Lusty & Boyd, who has "clearly done his homework" and has given this mare such an educated ride.  This has been a great partnership.

Ciaron Thompson also deserves a ton of credit for Lusty's wonderful dressage test yesterday (pictured here with Boyd's wonder groom Shannon).  He has constantly been grazy, grooming & doting over this mare since they walked off the trailer.  It truly takes an army to make this event happen.

The XC course is BIG, but this is where Lusty excels.  They run XC today at 3:25.  Here's to their clean & safe return.  Enjoy the pics...........LT

Friday, April 23, 2010

We Miss you Bruce!!

I woke up this morning to a great chuckle from my roomate saying, "ahh, did you see this line on Eventing Nation:  Rolex without Bruce is like Christmas without Santa!" 

That sentiment is being echoed throughout the horsepark, in the media area & back at the stables.  So many people have asked about Bruce's recovery & we are all looking forward to his rapid return to competition.

On a personal note, I would like to thank Bruce & Susie for my beautiful blue & white bracelet, which has enabled me to keep up to date on Lusty, Boyd, Buck & Hawley.  I just returned from interviewing Buck for the official Rolex Website, and that article will be front & center tomorrow morning on the home page.

Back at home, my husband is green with envy, likening my experience to his dream of being backstage at The Masters.  What a charmed life I lead!!  More later...............LT

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Greetings From Rolex!

I arrived early yesterday afternoon to catch the tail end of the jog.  Being a life long horsewoman, yet a newbie to Rolex......I couldn't wait to watch the pomp & circumstance surrounding this portion of the sport.  On the technical side, the horse inspection is such a critical portion of this event.....but being a girl, I'm really there to see all these beautiful animals slicked up & looking so magnificent.  It's also so much fun to see the competitors strutting their stuff!!

Lusty being a typical red-headed woman, was just a wee bit tuned up to show off her svelt self.  I watched her entire jog through the eye of the did not take note of any funny steps or signs of stiffness.  If anything she was just tossing her head a bit due to the excitement.  Much to my surprise, they held her to be represented & then announced that they were going to take a break!  This rookie immediately went into anxiety mode!  What in the world could they have seen?!  After a painful pause in the action, Boyd brought her back up to represent & down the tarmac they trotted.  "Rock on Rose............Accepted."  Whew!!

I was also able to watch part of Buck's jog with Titanium.  What a striking horse &  I was suprised to find out that he's all TB with all that presence & bone.  Definitely a pair to watch for the future!

I'm jetting off to catch Boyd's dressage on Neville, but will be reporting in later from the event.  For a full list of the event timetable & live results, go to

Signing off for now!  LT

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Reflections on Rolex

Here we are entering the last few days before Rolex and it’s an exciting time for the crew at Chesterland. Lusty has been back at the farm for the past few weeks, since Boyd returned from Aiken, and she is positioned so well for the upcoming challenge at Rolex. She is in fabulous shape and this paring has proven to be a top choice. We’ve opted just to gallop her a few times since her 3rd place finish at The Fork, as we both feel she’s fighting fit and she’s such an athlete that we don’t want to over train. We’ve focused on her dressage work & have approached it slowly & methodically to ensure she remains relaxed.
This year definitely threw us a bit of a curve ball with my recent back surgery. Of course there is a certain level of disappointment as I won’t be able to compete with my son this year, but I still get to enjoy several other roles as owner, trainer & father. There is no greater fulfillment in life than to see my son share the same passion & personal achievement within the sport that we both love so much.
Buck has truly dedicated his life work to eventing, and it is fabulous to see how our lives have come full circle since the 1978 World Championships in Kentucky. Buck was then 2 years old, (please enjoy all these old photos) and happily came along to watch me defend my World Championship title on Might Tango. He spent a good amount of his time playing with his trucks under the grandstands until they had to take them away so it wouldn’t be a distraction during show jumping. What an honor as a father to now be able to watch him give everyone a run for the money, as he is such a hot contender this year!
After Rolex, Ciaron Thompson, Buck & Boyd will continue on with the horses back at the farm. Buck is going to be evaluating his partnership with Cruise & if all goes well he will run him in the Bromont 3* in mid June to qualify for Worlds.
I’m really encouraged by my rapid recovery & reduction in pain. My plan is to be back in the saddle shortly after Rolex to manage the horses' preparation, flat work, etc. If everything goes swimmingly, nothing would make me happier than for Buck to have another possible contender for September. But as one knows in this sport, there are so many variables with both horse & rider being able to keep sound. Lots of stars have to align.

There is some bittersweet news this year that Janie Atkinson will be retiring after more than 30 years of skillfully organizing Rolex Kentucky. She has done the best for this sport and the trainers, competitors, owners, staff, volunteers & spectators at the Kentucky Horse Park. Janie is not a push over and there are not enough like her in this world. I’ve been connected with her every year, and with every encounter she has stood up for her opinion & always done the right thing for The Event & everyone involved. I’m sure Janie would say that I’ve been a big challenge over the years, with my inconsistent communications and correspondence. But Janie has put up with me & has remained a friend. One more reason to love her! We will miss her desperately.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lusty Rocks It at The Fork!!

It was a stellar weekend for Boyd Martin aboard Lusty (Rock on Rose) at The Fork .  This impressive pair finished a close third in the Advanced Division on a score of 37.7, just being edged out by Bruce's son Buck and Hannah Sue Burnett. 

Most importantly, Boyd feels extremely well primed for their lead up to Rolex. 
"Rock on Rose, better known around the barn as Lusty, had the best weekend that she’s had this year. I finally figured out how to get a relaxed dressage test out of her and it’s definitely not pushing her and forcing her through moments of tension. This time I went completely the opposite way and when she got tense and nervous I simply hopped off, loosened the girth and gave her a bit of grass to eat until she completely calmed down.

She felt very strong and confident in the cross-country and show jumping phases and it was a nice feeling to finally give Bruce Davidson a ring to tell him how successful his homebred mare had gone, especially as he’s recovering from back surgery right now.  I feel like this mare’s primed for Kentucky. She feels a million dollars and more importantly I feel her attitude and personality is upbeat and happy." 

For the full story, please visit Boyd & Silva's Blog and please enjoy this photo gallery courtesy of Amber Heintzberger! 

Photos of Boyd Rock on Rose courtesy of Amber Heintzberger, not for reproduction without permission.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Kick On Hector & Casper!

Two of our sales horses, Hector (top photo, credit GRC) & Casper are going on to new homes! 

Rowdie Adams (with a name like, your destined to ride event horses), who rides with Mike Huber, will be developing Hector into her next top competitor.  Good luck to both owners with their new partners.  Kick on!!