Monday, October 21, 2013

USEA Press Coverage of YEH East Coast Championships!

Mr. Bojangles & Mr. Davidson, Sr. Win the 2013 YEH East Coast Championships

Fri, 2013-10-18 22:49
Authored By: 
Mr. Bojangles and Bruce Davidson, Sr. winners of the USEA YEH East Coast 5 Yr Old Championships. Photo by Sarah Connell-Spriggs
Fair Hill NRMA, MD - It was a beautiful crisp fall day at the USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Championships at the Fair Hill International Festival in the Country, but perhaps the day was most beautiful for Mr. Bojangles and his rider Bruce Davidson, Sr.  The Davidson homebred Thoroughbred owned by Buck Davidson and Carl Segal showed ample future potential throughout the competition.
Mr. Bojangles and Davidson found themselves in the lead after a lovely Dressage test and a solid showing in the Conformation phase of the YEH Five-Year-Old Championships. 

While Friday’s 43.35 jumping score was not the highest of the day, it was more than enough to solidify his cumulative point total to win on a final score of 82.53.  In the words of judge Susan Graham White, “[Mr. Bojangles] had a lovely Dressage ride, forward, fresh, which showed off his gaits”, while his jumping exhibited his “quickness from behind, and scope.”  The highest jumping score of the five-year-olds, a 43.95, came from the 2012 USEA YEH East Coast Four-Year-Old Champion Esccord RGS (a.k.a. Garth). Garth is a Hanoverian bred by Page Brook Farms by Escudo I out of the dam EM Arabella RGS, and ridden and owned by Katie Murphy.   Their superb jumping performance enabled Garth and Katie to finish the competition as the reserve champions in the division.

In the Four-Year-Old Division Championship, two horses bred by Dr. Laurie Cameron of Clear Blue Farm in Stockton, NJ proved themselves to be the top mounts.  Rider Lillian Heard won the Championship aboard Cameron-bred Quarlotta, an Oldenburg by the stallion Quite Capitol out of the mare Merging.  Then, Cameron-bred Early Review, a Hanoverian by the sire Earl out of the dam Lois Lane, received the Safe Harbor Award.  That award is given to a horse that the judges view as exhibiting the most graceful and rider friendly performance throughout the competition.  As a "small time" breeder, Dr. Cameron noted that it is “very exciting that the YEH is now a part of the USEA record on these horses…hopefully more people will be riding American bred horses in the future.”

Breeders, owners, and competitors had a sense of optimism regarding the quality of the field of YEH entrants in the competition this year.  Marilyn Payne, the Chair of the USEA’s YEH Task Force, noted that there was not only a “phenomenal number of horses” but also the highest “quality of horses” that they have seen at a USEA YEH Championships to date. 

She attributed much of that success to the lure of the Holekamp/Turner YEH Lion d’ Angers Grant.  The grant, made possible through the work of Timothy Holekamp of New Spring Farm in Columbia, MO and Christine Turner of Indian Creek Farm in Spring Branch, TX, supports costs associated with competing the highest scoring USEA YEH Champion as a 7 year old at the FEI World Young Horse Championships at Le Lion d’Angers in France. 

The owners of Mr. Bojangles will now have to wait on the results of the USEA YEH West Coast Championships taking place later this month at Galway Downs in Temecula, CA to see which of the YEH Champions will have the highest score to be awarded the grant.

For information on the Holekamp/Turner Lion d’ Angers Grant visit the following link.
For the full results of the USEA YEH East Coast Championships visit the following link.

Monday, October 14, 2013

News From Maddie Blackman!

Many thanks to Maddie Blackman for sending in her Plantation wrap up and plans for the finish of the 2013 season.  We plan to keep our blog and Facebook page lively with stay tuned!!
Maddie on Gordonstown
"Plantation was a great weekend all around. I had both my horses competing, Gordonstown and Khoi Traveler.

"Gordy" started the weekend out by doing his last prep before Fair Hill in the Advanced division.  His dressage was ok (as it usually is), maybe a little less opinionated than usual, which was refreshing. He show jumped in lovely form and had an unlucky rail, but was double clear XC for a very exciting finish with 7th overall.   Our eyes are set in Fair Hill now!

Randy and Maddie heading to the start box
"Khoi" was competing in the one star that weekend. He had a very steady dressage and a great SJ round with just one rail.  Around noon he went out XC and put in a double clear, so I was very excited to have this horse go so well, as we are still getting to know each other.   He is just getting better and better with each event and has such a bright future!  Khoi's plans include the prelim at the NJ horse park before finishing the year at the VA horse park before moving up to intermediate.
Khoi at the Startbox!
It was so nice to be on home turf and to have all of us from Chesterland there to support and help eachother over the weekend.  The best part was having both my Mom and Dad be able to watch Gordy go on Saturday. They are such big supporters and it was nice to share  such a great day with them!"

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Kelly Prather Impresses in the Prelim Futurity at PFI!

We've been able to catch up with another resident BDE rider, Kelly Prather, who's relocated from the west coast to be based out of Chesterland as well. Kelly and several of her young Chesterland bred horses had a very good showing at the recent Plantation International Event!

News from Kelly:

"It was a very good day for all 3 horses at Plantation Field, with all performing well in dressage, with only a couple of minor mistakes, still I was very happy with them. Show jumping was the biggest, brightest international ring with cars and decorations which none of them had seen, and they still performed very well. It was a challenging course with lots of turns and technical questions.  
Truly Wiley
Truly Wiley, one of Bruce’s homebreds out of his Irish TB mare “Tears of a Loss” by “Salute the Truth”, jumped a great round. We had 2 unlucky rails but overall he jumped really well. Both he and St. Laurent, who's owned by Valerie Mackey, had fantastic X-C rounds. Truly Wiley placed 5th and St. Laurent was 8th in the Prelim Futurity.
Truly Wiley
Flagmount’s Nightcap, aka “Simon”, is another of Chesterland’s homebreds out of Bruce's “Memorial Cap” and sired by Flagmount Freedom, won the Prelim Futurity going double clean in both the challenging show jump and XC courses!  
Flagmount's Nightcap
Thanks to Charles Owens and Dover Saddlery for their great gifts and sponsorship of the Futurity Division."

Photo credits Susie Tuckerman

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Annie Eldridge Reports On Her Stunning Keltic Lion Foal!

Just received a recent email from Annie Eldridge, a friend and breeding client who splits her time between Duxbury, MA and Southern Pines, NC.  

We were able to catch up with Annie recently while she was down to watch all the action at Plantation Field International, and then schedule a visit over at Chesterland to see Charlie and all the young horses.
Annie is a lifelong horse woman who competed in 3 Day Eventing until an unexpected illness sidelined her from getting in the tack.  She continues to work on her recovery while being a huge supporter of the sport, whether it's cheering for her hometown rider, Ariel Grald, or continuing to breed and produce classic sport horses!

Annie has one Charlie colt on the ground and one due in 2014.  Here is her gorgeous colt at 5 months.

Fabulous Lion at 5 Months!
"I have been running a small breeding program for 7 years but I have never seen a weanling that looks
this strong and handsome at such a young age. His mother, Fabulous Jada, is a beautiful,
sweet, talented TB with excellent bloodlines, and of course Keltic Lion is his sire, so I'm calling
the colt "Fabulous Lion" with the nickname of Lion. 

The colt was so stunning, even as a tiny foal, that I had an easy choice picking a sire for Jada's next baby ... I bred her right back to Charlie.  So, how lucky am I -- I have another Jada/Charlie baby on the way ,May 2014 (fingers crossed,always)."

"My Lion is so sweet and friendly that he practically crawls into your lap when you visit
him. He is loving and kind and such a beautiful, athletic mover, even as a weanling! So I am
absolutely thrilled to have this wonderful colt as a "Setters' Run Farm " (SRF) homebred. I
am lucky that he wil be raised, as are all my homebreds, under the careful guidance of
Mona  Gardella at Rough Diamonds Farm in Aberdeen, NC -- Mona specializes in breeding and
she just has a magic touch when it comes to raising foals. 

My heart is broken because I cannot ride now due to illness but I am working hard to recover and my new  goal will be to ride Lion someday!"  ~ Annie Eldridge, Duxbury, MA and So. Pines, NC

Thanks so much to Annie for sending in this recent update and good luck in your continued recovery.   We love to hear from our Chesterland friends and can't wait to see keep track of both youngster's progress!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Whitney and Lusty Rock On at Plantation!!

This past weekend at Plantation Field International, Whitney Weston, riding Chesterland produced favorite, Rock on Rose, competed with other international level event riders, and came home with great results! Whitney has solidified a fabulous relationship with Lusty and we couldn't be happier with her result from this past weekend.  Whitney was kind enough to send along the following commentary on her weekend at PFI.

"Plantation Field held many thrills and spills this weekend, luckily I had only thrills this time! Lusty (Rock on Rose) was fab and relaxed in the dressage, scoring a 35, a record for us at Advanced. Friday was a "free day", giving me plenty of time to learn the tricky X-C course and walk with my students.

Saturday was the big day, not only did we have to focus on the huge show jumping course, but half an hour later we were expected to change gears and mindset to run around cross country! Show jumping went great, adding only one rail to our dressage score before quickly changing it up for the XC course. Bruce Davidson, my mentor and coach, gave me great advice throughout, saying that if there were ever a horse for this course, it was Lusty. She runs bold and fast, and the advice was to not take too much time in the turns, setting up my lines more off the eye, in order to make the time.

Plantation Advanced offered maxed out tables, technical lines, and tricky lighting at spots. We ran around clear and 8 seconds inside the time to finish on a score of 39 in 6th place! Many thanks to everyone at Chesterland for their support leading up to and during the event. 

I'd also like to thank my good friend David Frechette who caught most of the course on video, while Cindy Lawler captured some of the most exciting moments of our day on camera."

Jump like you mean it! ~ Whitney and Lusty

Cross Country

Friday, August 23, 2013

Father & Son Team Endorses KER Sport Horse Nutrition

Father and son team of Bruce and Buck Davidson continue to use KER nutritional products as their "fuel" of choice for their breeding program and competition horses.  The relationship with KER and the Davidson's has existed for years, which lead to the natural progression of their endorsement of KER's feed line.

"We’ve been connected to Kentucky Equine Research for many years. Founder and president of KER Joe Pagan has helped us with our feeding program no matter where we are, whether it’s Pennsylvania, Florida, or overseas. So it seems only natural that we go this route and use KER Sport Horse Nutrition feeds on our group of high-performance horses."

Bruce feeds the KER Re-Leve Sport and KER Ovation to keep his competition horses performing at their peak and recovering safely after excursion.  His animal's level of conditioning has never been better.

OVATION delivers the necessary levels of fat and complex carbohydrates for optimal sport horse performance. This pelleted feed is formulated with unique KER ingredient technologies, including RELEVE OIL. OVATION is a palatable formulation designed for sport horses requiring balanced energy for maximum performance during competition and efficient muscle recovery afterwards.

RELEVE Sport is a completely fortified performance feed designed specifically for sport horses. This textured feed contains balanced omega fat sources and fiber-based carbohydrates for optimal performance. RELEVE Sport provides calories that deliver manageable energy for optimal sport horse focus.

Earlier this year in Ocala, Samantha Clark produced a fun set of video vignettes, which captures this unique father and son relationship!

 Go over to the website and check out the videos!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Love This Father's Day Tribute from EN

Bruce and Buck Davidson with Buck's Land Rover. Photo courtesy of Land Rover.

Better late than never!  Thanks to EN for this great Father's Day tribute!!
From Buck Davidson: I’m thankful for everything my Dad taught me and everything he’s done for me. He’s been the best Dad I could ask for. It hasn’t always been easy, but he’s been amazing to me and taught me some tough lessons. There aren’t a lot of warm and fuzzy moments with my Dad, but there are a lot of great memories.

A moment that sticks out to me with my Dad is at Kentucky this year when I won the Land Rover. We had to take pictures with the Land Rover, and my Dad was going through the car looking in the front seat and back seat seeing how it would work for him to drive it. As he was sitting in the back seat, he asked, “This is your car? You won this at Kentucky?”

We were standing right by his statue at the Kentucky Horse Park, which made it so funny when he said, “Man, I need to get back into this sport!” He’s done so much more than me in this sport, but he never won a car at Kentucky. It shows how far the sport has come, and that’s a moment I’ll never forget.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Dancing Queen!

We recently received a great email from Jocelyn Hawe, a trainer who has one of our Chesterland home breds up in New England.
Dancing Queen and Jocelyn Hawe
"Just a quick note and a photo... Billie (that is what we call her) won her division at GMHA on a 22!  She will go Novice at Groton House, and then will move up to Training. She is fabulous!"

Jocelyn has been training Billie for the past year and last year she won the YEH 4 y.o. competition at GMHA HT as well.

"She is a highly intelligent, confident horse, and an incredibly fast learner. She is a lovely gal and I feel very lucky to have her in my barn. There is a brightness to her that makes you love her."

We love getting this feedback from clients who have purchased a Chesterland prospect, and we look forward to watching Billie rise up through the levels!

Photo reproduced with permission from Joan Davis and

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

It's Full Steam Ahead at Chesterland!

I had the opportunity to spend most of the day at Chesterland yesterday, catching up with Bruce and Susie, and enjoying the busy pace of life at the farm.

Upon arriving, Bruce was teaching several riders, including Rock on Rose's current owner, Whitney Weston, who's taken up residence in Chester County.  Whitney was here to lesson on her newest 4 legged interest, a big Holsteiner gelding who she found in Aaron Vale's barn in Ocala.  Elvis' previous life was as a jumper, but Whitney saw eventing talent and is now retraining him to love eventing, with Bruce's help.  Boy does this horse have a great gallop!
Whitney Weston and Elvis!
The "left coasters" were also out in full force, with Kelly Prather and Frankie Thieriot out in the stadium field.  Kelly has relocated to train out of Chesterland and Frankie has joined her during the spring/summer season while her beau, none other than Mike Stutes, pitches for the Phillies!  We'll have more on Kelly and Frankie as the season progresses.
Maddie and Sabrina
Maddie Blackman has her horses in the upper barn while working for Bruce and bringing along one of Keltic Lion's most talented young horses.  Sabrina is a big boned filly by Charlie, who is going to her first event this weekend at Plantation Field.  We're hoping for some great photos and a full report after the weekend.  We're also happy to say that Gordanstown, after being pulled up at Rolex, is on the road to full recovery and will be back on the circuit shortly.  Their plan is to run Millbrook, Richland and Plantation before tackling the Fair Hill 3* in October!

Maddie also has Khoi Traveler in her line-up, an 8 year old OTTB who just finished his first 1* at the Va Horse Trials, finishing 9th.  He's on the same schedule as Gordy, and is scheduled to do a couple intermediates before Millbrook in August.
Bruce Leading the Youngsters Through the Ring
Zach Leamer and Jan Smith continue to make the barn run like clockwork and are keeping all the babies on schedule with their training program.  We plan to get some more formal pictures of the young horses in a week or two for the website, but they are all in work and looking fabulous!

Rolex had a beautiful and feisty little filly 3 days ago and they were out in the small paddock during the day.  The new filly was enjoying the use of her long legs and keeping Rolex on her toes.  The other foals who were born about a month ago (2 filles and a colt out of Jam) were out in the big field with all the other mares, enjoying their time playing in the pond.  All of Charlie's babies are such curious and personable creatures!
Rolex's New Filly!
Safe travels to Bruce and Susie, who headed north today for Bromont.  Please take the time to look at the candid photos from the farm on the Facebook Photo Album, and don't forget to "like" Mid-Atlantic Equestrian Services on Facebook so you can follow all the adventures at Chesterland!!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Spring Time at Chesterland!

This is my favorite time of year to go visit with Bruce, Susie and the whole crew at Chesterland.  Everyone is settling into a routine and the babies are the center of attention!
Mares and Fillies Coming in for Dinner!
So far there are 3 foals on the ground:  Catalyst, Buck's advanced mare, had a filly, the infamous Jam has had a colt and Amanda (Petite Flower's Mom) had a filly as well.  There is one more mare due and Jan has her hands full with foaling and keeping the young horses in work!
Jam and Her New Colt!
Bruce is very excited that Lola is back in full time work after having some down time this winter due to lyme.  The plan is to start her back at Prelim in June and then bump her up to Intermediate.  He also has 4 three year olds and 2 four year olds out of Charlie who are showing so much promise.  Next week we've planned a photo session to get all the young green prospects up on the website, so check back soon to see Charlie's fabulous youngsters!

Selena O'Hanlon stayed over with us on her way down to MCTA and took this fabulous video of the mares in the pond, which perfectly captures the feeling of spring here at Chesterland!  Keep an eye on our blog for more spring updates and never hesitate to call the farm to set up an appointment to come see our young stock.   610-347-2149

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

2013 Rolex Ky National Champion - Buck Davidson!!

It was a huge conclusion to an exciting weekend for the Davidson family at the Rolex Kentucky 3 Day Event!  Buck set the bar as the highest placed US rider, finishing 4th on Ballycoe Castle RM (Reggie) and also 9th on Mar De Amor and 22nd on Park Trader! 

The 4th place finish came as an admitted disappointment to Buck, having a couple rails at the end of his show jumping round which dropped him down to 2nd, but his finish on Reggie as the US National Champion is quite a feather in his cap.  Bruce knows how hard his son continues to train and compete, so his success here this year comes as no surprise. 
Full Results

Show Jumping Video on Reggie

Official Rolex Ky Post Show Interview

We hope you enjoy the videos and photos of Buck from the Rolex Ky 3 Day Event.
Photo Gallery of Buck on Facebook

Bruce was also thrilled to see student Kristi Nunnink have her highest place finish (8th) at Rolex to date on her lovely mare R-Star, who has become a national superstar in both looks and talent.  Kristi and Rosie came to Chesterland 2 seasons ago for some training and are prime examples of the results upper level riders can achieve under the guidance of Bruce. 
Kristi Nunnink and R-Star Place 8th
Photo Credit Lisa Thomas
Now that Rolex has concluded, it's time for Bruce to settle back into the farm at Chesterland north, where he will be bringing along another set of young homebreds and competing at USEA events throughout the United States.

You can continue to follow Bruce's breeding program and competition highlights on this blog and through Mid-Atlantic Equestrian Services on Facebook!

Photo and video credits: Lisa Thomas/Mid-Atlantic Equestrian Services.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bruce's Catches Up with HJU!

Bruce certainly couldn't be prouder of his son's performance this weekend, with 3 solid XC rides successfully completed and 2 horses poised in the top 10 going into stadium!  Reggie is truly top of his game, sitting in third on his dressage score of 45.2, and Mar de Amor impressing us all with his 8th place position on a 55.2, both horses coming home double clear!!

Frankie Theriot caught up with Buck after his run on XC.

Horse Junkies United was kind enough to catch up with us in front of Bruce's statue of Eagle Lion at the conclusion of XC to get Bruce's reflections on Rolex and his son.

Bruce is also so happy to see his wonderful student Kristi Nunnink and her beautiful mare R-Star rounding out the top 10!  Best of luck today to all the competitors.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Rolex Watch is Ticking!!

Buck and Reggie Compliments of Samantha Clark of EN!
Count down to the start of Rolex, and Bruce is on site at the Kentucky Horse Park acting  in many capacities this weekend!  Of course all eyes are on his hard working son, Buck Davidson, who has 3 horses in contention:  Park Trader, Mar De Amor, and his longtime partner, Ballynoe Castle RM (Reggie).

Buck has been knocking it out of the park this year in his lead up to Rolex and a large string of horses, and with each new season he just seems to raise the bar.  Although Park Trader and  Mar De Amor are a bit inexperienced at the 4* level, both have had solid placings at advanced and the 3* level leading up to this event.  Bruce feels that although they're new to Rolex, both these horses have the talent to be quite competitive and as Bruces says, "he's not going to Rolex for a school"!  Reggie and Buck have an amazing resume, and have the tools and talent for a top placing here this year.  Everyone at Chesterland is pulling for them!!  (See Buck's current USEA results)

Thanks  to Samantha Clarke of Eventing Nation for capturing a few great shots of Buck warming up yesterday morning and for providing her usual spectacular coverage of the event!

Bruce will be wearing multiple hats this weekend as father, coach and selector.  In addition to coaching Buck, he is also prepping Maddie Blackman and Kristi Nunnink.   Keep an eye on Horse Junkies United, as we're hoping to arrange a father/son interview on Thursday at the horse park.

Bruce is now just boarding his plan in Philly and I'm about to get in my car for the big 10 hour drive!!  More to come from the horse park tomorrow.........LT

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Eventing Legend Bruce Davidson Endorses KER Sport Horse Nutrition Feeds

It is with great excitement that we announce the expansion of our sponsorship with KER, Kentucky Equine Research!  KER is an international equine nutrition, research and consultation company serving both the horse producer and  feed industry.  Their goal is to advance the industry's knowledge of equine nutrition and exercise physiology and apply this knowledge to produce healthier, more athletic horses. 

A perfect example of these efforts is KER Marvin, who Bruce has had the pleasure of training  this past year, before his owner Anna Kjelstrom (wife of KER owner Joe Pagan) took over the reins.

KER has launched their own line of performance focused feed products and both Bruce and Buck have come on board as ambassadors for the company.   Stay tuned for Bruce's course walk this year at Rolex, which will be held in conjunction with KER and the Horse Park's "Eventers College"!

Eileen Phethean

Eventing Legend Bruce Davidson Endorses KER Sport Horse Nutrition Feeds

Kentucky Equine Research (KER) is pleased to announce that three-day eventing legend Bruce Davidson has joined the KER Sport Horse Nutrition team.  KER Sport Horse Nutrition is a collection of scientifically advanced feeds that meet the specific nutritional requirements of sport horses. 

“We’ve been connected to Kentucky Equine Research for many years. Founder and president of KER Joe Pagan has helped us with our feeding program no matter where we are, whether it’s Pennsylvania, Florida, or overseas,” said Davidson. “So it seems only natural that we go this route and use KER Sport Horse Nutrition feeds on our group of high-performance horses.”

For more than 40 years, Davidson has been a fixture on the international three-day eventing scene, claiming victory at the world’s most prestigious competitions, including World Championships held in the United States and abroad, as well as multiple Olympic and Pan American Games. In addition to his enviable record in the tack, he has an active breeding program producing sport horses at his Chesterland Farm, located in Unionville, Pennsylvania. 

KER Sport Horse Nutrition feeds are uniquely researched and formulated to provide the nutrients required by today’s sport horses. The complete line of feeds, including descriptions and photographs, can be viewed at

Kentucky Equine Research (KER) celebrates 25 years of research and innovation this year.  The company was founded by owner Joe Pagan, Ph.D., who realized that nutritional research did not benefit the people who needed it most: feed manufacturers and horse owners. Since then, the primary focus of the company has been to bridge the gap between the research community and horsemen. KER accomplishes this through cutting-edge research, worldwide consultation, and innovation.

For more information on KER Sport Horse Nutrition feeds, visit or contact Bob Wagner at 352-895-8429. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Future Champions - Salem and Mary Nicholas!!

We recently received pictures from Mary Nicolas, who is the proud owner of one of Charlie's offspring.....a 3 year old filly by the name of Salem.  We sent Mary an email asking for an update on Salem and some photos, and she enthusiastically responded.  Below is the email we received in response, and we're thrilled to have Mary contribute to our blog.  The whole crew at Chesterland wishes Mary and Salem the best of luck in their future endeavors.
"Thank you so much for the opportunity to brag about my brilliant Salem!!   In case you haven't heard, my precious girl swept the walk-trot and the dressage suitability divisions, and ended up Grand Champion of her first horse show!!

Her show name is Emerald Lion, after her Irish heritage and her wonderful 'Lion' heritage.  She is about 15.3h tall now and still growing.  She is wonderfully quiet and sensible, has plenty of 'go', loves to jump (only over little things now), and is afraid of nothing!!!  Her movement is breathtaking.  She is sweet and a pet in the barn.  I love her more than words can say and I still can't believe I really own such a magnificent horse!  Everyone at Chesterland.....from Bruce and Susie who bred her, to the people involved in her care as a youngster should be so proud of what they have produced.  She and I will be Rolex bound if Salem has anything to say about it.  It is an amazing feeling to ride such an incredibly gifted horse.

I come from a hunter/jumper background.  I did the WEF on ponies and horses as a junior rider.  I went to Smith College and rode on the Equestrian Team.  I studied abroad in Ireland and discovered eventing.  I rode at (then called) Kellet's Equestrian Centre under Iris Kellet and her team.  I spent a summer there and was hooked on eventing.  I came back to finish Smith College and a Master's at Florida State University.  I coached FSU's Equestrian Team as a graduate student.  But eventing and Ireland were calling and I was soon abroad to learn as much as I could about the sport and to achieve the highest levels I have to date.

Since coming back to America, I worked as a clinical social worker and became very involved in foxhunting Irish horses.  The cross country aspect soon had me longing for a competitive element.  After quite a search, I found the most wonderful trainer, coach, mentor, and friend in Hilda Donahue.  I owe so much credit to Hilda for bringing me back to competitive riding and giving me the confidence to pursue my dreams.

I have a wonderful coach and now a spectacular horse who together will take me all the way. Fortunately the American Horse Trials Foundation has accepted my application so I am eligible for donors to receive tax deductions on any sponsorship and donations.  
My website is

I am so happy that you all are interested in Salem.  She is truly one to watch and one who will make everyone very proud!!!"

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bruce's Rider Profile with Voltaire Design

Our friends at Voltaire Designs conducted and interview with Bruce for his rider profile and it's now up on their site.  Stay tuned for more information on Bruce's signing at their booth at Rolex!!

What is your business' name and where are you located?
Chesterland Farm located in Unionville, Pennsylvania, and Ocala, Florida during the winter months.
What discipline do you primarily compete in?
Eventing. I also have an extensive breeding program.

Can you tell me a little bit about your history with horses? How did you get into horses? Do you have family members in the business?
I was a very small child when I got my first pony. I grew up on a farm and did Pony Club and went foxhunting. I have lived a life of horses and a life of loving and learning about horses. From Pony Club to Point to Point Racing and Foxunting, showing, eventing and breeding. I have pretty much done nothing but horses my entire life and that’s what I love.

What are your future plans?
To just keep maintaining the standard of producing horses and riders at a high level and continue to be competitive at competitions. I also breed horses, so I love to promote the ones we breed. My future plans are to continue to just do more of the same.
Photo by Susie Tuckerman

What do you enjoy most about your work?
I love the whole process! I love foaling the mares and producing young horses, and eventually later competing them. I enjoy whichever phase we are currently in as long as I can continue to do it well.
Photo by Betty Kjellstrom

What's the best advice you have for a young rider wanting to become a professional?
Be prepared to work hard; that is important no matter what your passion or what profession you are in. It takes a lot of hard work to be successful at anything. Many of the young people are looking for sponsors and an easy way through. That may be one way, but it is better to work hard and work your way up the levels. Always be willing to work for your goals.

Is there a certain horse that has changed your life? Or your career?
There really isn’t one particular horse. Irish Cap was big in the revolution of eventing for the U.S. in the early 70’s. Might Tango, the second time was also unique winning back-to-back. I have had such wonderful horses that I can’t say one in particular. Each one did something special in their life and holds record in their own way. I have just been very lucky to have had the horses that I’ve had... and I probably haven’t even had the best one yet!

Do you have any superstitions or rituals when showing?
I like to put my left sock on first, or my left pant leg or left arm for luck, but I do that on a daily basis. I believe that only you can bring your own luck to competitions.

 Why did you choose Voltaire Design?
I saw their banners and tent at competitions and I saw various people I knew riding in Voltaire saddles at horse shows. When I sat in the saddle and rode in it, I was immediately happy with it. I am involved with Voltaire because I was truly impressed by the people that work there and the quality of the products. Whether it’s Eric selling or fitting the saddles, people in the factory making them, or other reps at shows; everyone is really on the ball and does a good job with the company.

Which saddle do you currently ride in?
I ride in all of the different Voltaire saddles, including the Lexington monoflap jumping saddle, the Elkton monoflaps cross-country saddle and the Adelaide dressage saddle.
Photo by Betty Kjellstrom

What is your favorite design feature?
I have many favorites! We went to the Voltaire factory where I saw the saddles being made and all that was involved. I saw the way they carefully put the saddles together.

My first concern with any saddle is that it fits my horse correctly. I can fall out of any saddle, but I like it to stay on my horse where it belongs, so it starts there. Also, the comfort factor; as soon as you sit in one you understand. They really do a good job of fitting them to the horse.

The jumping saddle is a monoflap so it’s nice and tight. The buffalo hide leather is fantastic and beautifully done. I never use any of the spray-on products that make you stick to the tack because you don’t need them in Voltaire saddles. They naturally allow you to ride really well in them.
Photo by Betty Kjellstrom

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Chesterland South is Soon Headed North!!

As another winter season in Ocala comes to an end, we wanted to catch everyone up on all the action at Chesterland South!  The outbreak of the EHV virus has had an impact on the showing schedule, but now that the ban has been lifted, the plan is to attend 3 shows before trekking home to Pa.

On the schedule is Poplar Place, Rocking Horse and The Fork before heading back heading north.  Bruce is taking Summer Patriot (grey gelding by Unbridled Song), training level at Poplar with the plans to market him for his owner, Ann Polson.  If anyone is looking for a talented horse to take up the levels, please contact Bruce!  Summer Patriot is the grey featured in these schooling photos, and the bay  is Sabrina, another lovely Charlie baby!

Schooling Photo Slideshow - Many thanks to Betty and Anna Kjellstrom for their great photos!

As always, Chesterland South has been hopping with training action, with a steady stream of  riders working with Bruce to bring their game up a level!  Anna Kjellstrom is heading over to Ocala this weekend to do the one star on KER Marvin and Garfunkle.  She and her Mom have also been a tremendous help with photos all winter!  Maddie Blackman plans to take Gordanstown advanced at the Fork, with the ultimate goal being Badminton this year.  Selena O'Hanlon continues to train with Bruce in Florida, as well as Kelly Prather (who will also compete at The Fork).  The big news on the Chesterland North home-front is that Kelly Prather will be relocating her training business to Bruce's upon her return from Florida.  We welcome Kelly to our facility and are looking forward to watching her business develop at Chesterland.

Competition Pics of Lola and Summer Patriot by Susie Tuckerman

Bruce is also looking forward to showing Charlie in the jumper ring this season.  There are 6 mares in foal to Keltic Lion (Charlie), with the first due on the 25th.  The Martin's welcomed a colt this past week, out of Petite Flower (surrogate mare) and by Charlie.  With finely chosen genetics, Bruce and Buck's training expertise, and certainly Caroline's young talent in the tack........this boy certainly has a big future in front of him!

We hope everyone has a safe and successful completion to the season leading up to Rolex.  If you're at the big event, please make sure you come by the Voltaire booth for an autograph session with Bruce and to sit in their beautifully designed saddles!

Friday, March 15, 2013


Many thanks to our friends at EN for  posting  this unearthed footage of the 1978 WEG, narrated by Bruce!  Take the time to watch this in it's entirety.  Fabulous!!

1978 World Equestrian Games Presented by Kentucky Performance Products

This video goes above and beyond what I expect to find on the internet. First off, it’s long, so if you need a mini-movie night, here is what you’re looking for. The film is from the 1978 World Equestrian Games, which were held at Rolex Kentucky, and it is narrated by none other than Bruce Davidson himself. Bruce won that year’s WEG on Might Tango, leading Team USA to a bronze medal, and the footage shown here is nothing less than captivating. If you have a moment tonight to sit down and spend some time with the fascinating history of Eventing, this is your video. There are links to parts two and three below. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Bruce is very excited to announce his new sponsorship with Voltaire Design, the newest of the French saddlers, who  manufactures custom saddles for all disciplines....from eventing to dressage, show jumping to the hunter ring.

Voltaire works with the very best people in the industry to deliver an outstanding product, helping each rider achieve their best performance. From saddle fitters to factory workers and customer service experts, each member of the Voltaire Team is working hard to take the stress out of saddle shopping and make it a pleasant experience!

The eventing line of saddles includes the Lexington monoflap cross country saddle and the Elkton, a stripped down aggressive monoflap for cross country. The Adelaide is the Voltaire Design answer for dressage. It is a monoflap model that is extremely stable and comfortable, combining freedom of movement with a secure comfortable ride. The double flap jumping saddles, the popular Palm Beach and Calgary models are available in the Second skin version, which provides the comfort of a traditional jumping saddle with an unparalleled close-contact feeling.

Bruce is excited about this new partnership, not only because they produce a beautiful saddle, but because of their attention to detail, craftsmanship and service.  "The saddles are hand made from the finest of french leather and fit like a perfect pair of fine shoes, which are immediately broken in and are so comfortable to wear.  From the moment these saddles were fitted, the close contact of the ride has been so impressive, and the level of attention to customer service from the company has been incomparable.  Not only are these gorgeous saddles, but the technical design and fit of the saddle to the horse is perfect!"
Check out Voltaire Design's website and Facebook page, and don't hesitate to give them a call to schedule a free test ride by calling Amandine Colson at (813)428-2131!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Anna Kjellstrom and KER Marvin aka Everest!
Last year, Bruce took on an interesting project horse owned by Anna Kjellstrom and Kentucky Equine Research.  KER Marvin came to Bruce after being a research horse at KER, a nutritional science company owned by Anna's husband Joe Pagan.  

Kentucky Equine Research is an international equine nutrition, research and consulting company serving both the horse producer and the feed industry.  It's goal is to advance the industry's knowledge of equine nutrition and exercise physiology and apply this knowledge to produce healthier, more athletic horses.  KER Marvin (given the barn name Everest, due to his enormous stature), was raised in the perfect environment, being studied while he developed as a youngster.

You can see more about his KER history on this prior blog post.

XC at Rocking Horse 1
Anna did a lovely job starting Marvin, and competed him at the lower levels before sending him up to Bruce for boot camp.  Due to his size, Anna wanted to place him in training to determine if they would have a suitable partnership.  He came to Chesterland a year ago, showing great raw talent, and Bruce was able to put the finishing touches on this talented young horse for his Amateur owner rider!  

Everest went home to Anna in the fall, then came down to Ocala for winter training at Chesterland South, and Anna has successfully taken over the reins. They have formed a solid partnership and we're thrilled to watch her rise up through the levels on this athletic and talented horse.

When asked about her transition back into the saddle with Everest, Anna sent a humorous note stating "He went to Bruce Camp a boy and came back a lady's hunter!"

Obviously from the looks of these fabulous pictures and XC video, they are well on their way to become one of the best a/o pairs on the eventing circuit!

Everyone at Chesterland and Bruce Davidson Eventing wishes Anna and Everest the best of luck in their upcoming adventures!!  We look forward to reporting on their careers as they jump through the ranks.

Many thanks to the Horse Pesterer for this great XC footage from last weekend at Rocking Horse!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Chronicle's Salute to Eagle Lion!

Many thanks to The Chronicle for this lovely tribute to Eagle Lion in the January 14th edition.  He will be truly missed.
Photo Credit Corbis Images
Compliments of The Chronicle of The Horse, January 14th, page 35.

Eagle Lion, the horse Bruce Davidson rode to the first US win at the Badminton CCI****, was euthanized on Dec. 18.  He was 27.

Davidson began training Eagle Lion (Gipfel - Stream Lion, Ideal Water) when the Irish-bred gelding was 3.  In 1992, Eagle Lion won the Fair Hill CCI*** (Md.) at the age of 7, and in 1995, he and Davidson won England's most famous four-star: Badminton.  They also placed in the top five at Badminton in 1994 and 1998, as well as placing fourth at the Burghley CCI **** (England) in 1993.  He was named the Chronicle's Eventing Horse of the YEar in 1997 after finishing 8th at Badminton and 11th at teh Open European Eventing Championships (England).  He was also chosen as one the The Chronicle's 50 Most Influential Horses of the 20th Century.

" He wrote the book on how to jump", said Davidson in a Feb. 2, 1996 article in the Chronicle. "All you have to do is stay on.  He has jumped me off three times in competition.  One was Kentucky in 1992 - I clucked, and he jumped me right over his head.  I'll never do that again."

Davidson often mentioned that he wished there was a five-star three day to really test "Eagle's" jumping.

In 2007, Eagle was immortalized in a statue by artist Jean Clagett at the Kentucky Horse Park.  The sculpture epicts Eagle and Davidson jumping into the Head of the Lake at the Rolex Ky Three-Day Event.

Eagle, who was purchased by George Strawbridge in 1994, retired to Davidson's Chesterland Farm in Unionville, Pa., where he lived until he died.  "I appreciate George as an owner.  He came through at a time that was helpful for me to be able to keep the horse," said Davidson.  "If we had horse like him now, we'd be winning medals.  He had character, he was an athlete, he was a competitor, he was intelligent, and he was tough.  We were a wonderful team, and he'll be sorely missed."

International appreciation of this legendary horse was also apparent in this article written by Horse Talk NZ