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Friday, September 29, 2023

Buck Davidson, a local favorite, won Arena Eventing at Devon

DEVON, Pa.--Buck Davidson of Unionville, Pa., on Cassandra Segal's Erroll Gobey won the $50,000 Arena Eventing class at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair on Sunday evening, May 28.

Buck Davidson on Erroll GobeyBuck Davidson on Erroll GobeyIt was Davidson's second time competing in Arena Eventing at Devon, and this time was considerably less stressful.

The first time Davidson rode at Devon, a combination of late planes and bad traffic meant that he only arrived at Devon in time to jump on his first horse and go in the ring, having had no time to walk the course.

He said that he'd kept calling Devon to tell them that he was on his way.

He used that first round to figure out the course, and he then returned on his second horse to eventually place second.

"This was fun," said Davidson. "It was nice to do one better than last time. Devon's such a cool place and the spectators are so great. It was nice for him to have a place to shine."


"GOBEY'S 13, and I think I got him as a 7-year-old," said Davidson. "He's done a bunch of long and short four star events. He's just a little short of being a five star horse."

"His full brother, Monaco, was second in the World Cup Finals in Omaha with Harrie Smolders this year,"said Davidson. "Gobey is bred to jump, but he might be just a little short of speed..He has everything, all the jump and he's a beautiful mover. He has a beautiful trot and canter. In dressage, the walk is his problem. Dressage is a work in progress. He's super nice, real quiet. He's a beautiful horse. Anyone could ride him."

Captain Mark Phillips, who was eventing chef d'equipe for many years, designed the course for Arena Eventing, and he designs courses for a number of events.

"Mark is a genius at doing this," said Davidson. "He does a really good job of making it exciting. He gives the horses confidence and puts on a good show. It's nice to have a bit of pressure and a bit of fun. I'm from this area, so it's cool to have all my neighbors and friends here. And it brings eventing to the masses. Devon is such an awesome venue and a cool, nostalgic place."

In the first round, a combination of eventing and show jumping fences were spread between the Dixon and Wheeler Ovals, and the top 12 from the starting field of 22 qualified for the jump-off.

There were eight clean and four with time faults that were carried forward to the jump-off against time, with all obstacles in the Dixon Oval..

Davidson qualified two for the jump-off, and, as he was last to go, he utilized that advantage to cut every corner and gallop to the last fence to finish in 72.629, 3/10s of a second faster than second placed Caroline Martin Pamukco of Springtown, Pa., on HSH Blake, who finished in 72.918, with Arielle Aharoni of Bedminster, N.J., on Dutch Times third in 72.973.

Last year's winner, Sara Kozumplik of Berryville, Va., on Rubens D'Ysieux, was fourth in 74.3909, with Ema Klugman of Clarksburg, Md., fifth in 75.286, and Davidson on Electric Lux sixth in 77.730.

Tara Crowley, driving a Mills and Son, Gooch Wagon, won the Carriage Marathon over Misdee Wrigley, driving a dog car.

Alexandra Sica on Quickly Stated won the $10,000 Children's Jumper Classic, clean in 32.911, with Collin Sweetnam on Just Noble second, clean in 32.911.

"My first round, I was so nervous," said Sica, who had placed second in her morning class. "I haven't been back here since 2018, and I just wanted to do well. I wanted to stay consistent and stay within myself, not let the moment get too big, But I trusted my horse. She's been here a million times, and I knew the crowd wouldn't freak her out, so I was really confident in her."

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