Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bruce Davidson - Still Going Strong, part 1 on Eventing Nation!

Many thanks to Samantha and our friends at EN for this great article!

Bruce Davidson - Still Going Strong, part 1


You could be forgiven for thinking that Bruce Davidson had perhaps finally settled into a comfy chair to enjoy watching his son, Buck carry the torch in those famous red and yellow colours; after all with a fistful of medals from every major Championship in almost each colour, a Badminton & Burghley win to his credit, having been a mainstay on the US leading rider list for many years, and now a member of the US Eventing Hall of Fame there wouldn't seem to be much left to achieve. You would be forgiven, but you would be wrong! I made just this mistake and Bruce very kindly described to me exactly how busy he is, what excites him these days, and why we most definitely shouldn't discount seeing him back at the very top of the game again. I'm incredibly honoured and grateful to Bruce for his time, and also completely bowled over by his utter lack of ego, willingness to talk, love of the game and, above all else, of course - the horse.

"I have some nice, young horses, and I've been doing some low-level things with them - training and preliminary. They're pretty fancy horses so I'm not pounding on them but they'll come out in July and do a couple more preliminaries, and then I'll step them up at the end of the summer. That's my stallion, Keltic Lion, and I have a very, very nice grey mare called Here's Lola, and I ride a mare for Sophie Dupont called Expensive Playmate. I have those three, and that's all I'm doing with them, and then I have any number of young horses on the farm that I play with."

There's a common thread or two that run along the breeding lines of all the horses in Bruce's programme, lines that hark back to Eagle Lion and JJ Babu, but the threads tend to weave and  tangle together; I tried to keep them straight in my head as Bruce talked to me, but in the end all that matters is that Bruce is breeding some jolly nice horses,

"Keltic Lion is out of a sister to Eagle Lion and he's by Lux Z, the german show-jumper.  Patricia Nicholson bred him in Ireland and he's out of that great family. We thought it would be great to put the mare to the German horse once, and Keltic Lion could also be a pure show-jumper, he could do that as well but he has enough blood in him and he has enough gallop that I don't think that eventing would be an issue either. He's a six year old and I'm having a great time with him; he has a great temperament, he's good on the flat, he's a great jumper, he's very much an Eagle Lion type horse, he's just a really, really nice horse. I suppose he might be my reason to come back and do another four star, he's that good of a horse, and he's pretty straightforward, so as long as I don't fall off too much he's my big white hope!"


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