Five weeks after breaking his collarbone, Buck Davidson tops the CCI4*-L leaderboard with Carlevo at the MARS EQUESTRIAN Bromont CCI Three-Day Event on a score of 27.9. While he is thrilled with the result, it isn’t exactly how Buck thought Carlevo’s spring would play out.
Carlevo, a 12-year-old Holsteiner (Caresino X Ramatuelle, by Levernois) owned by Carlevo LLC, was meant to compete in the Luhmühlen CCI5*-L in Germany next week as his spring long format. Those plans changed when his stepmother, Susie Tuckerman, sustained a brain injury in a fall on May 12 and was hospitalized in Ocala. Buck immediately traveled to Ocala to be with Susie and his father, Bruce Davidson, and stayed for two weeks.
In the meantime, Carlevo stayed home in Pennsylvania doing fitness work on the hills of Unionville, and Buck’s wife, Andrea, schooled him on the flat. Buck gave credit to Andrea and his team for keeping both Carlevo and Copper Beach, who sits in equal fifth on 32.4, in fighting form for Bromont. He also took Carlevo for a spin in the $50,000 Devon Arena Eventing two weeks ago as preparation.
“Carlevo is very consistent and very rarely does worse than 70%,” Buck said. “He can be a little bit lazy sometimes. The difference with him being behind the bit and in front of the vertical is really hard to feel, so James (Burtwell) helped me in the warm-up just to say that’s where he needed to be. He was really taking me nicely. He’s very elegant, and he’s very rideable.”
As for how Buck’s collarbone is feeling in his first competition back since Kentucky, he said it’s more of a “collarplate” now having been plated at least four times in surgery. He is not entirely sure how many times he’s broken his collarbone, but Buck is confident he’s ready to attack Derek di Grazia’s cross country course tomorrow.
“It feels like he’s taken a few of the really grueling hills out. I think hopefully the horses will be fresher and give a better picture coming home. The ground should be good. Coming up the fairway where it’s always wet, they’ve had a tone of rain, and I think that might get a little heavy there. It’s a natural cross country venue we don’t have anywhere else. Jay Hambly and his team do a fantastic job building the course.”
Boyd Martin and On Cue, Christine Turner’s 12-year-old Anglo-European mare (Cabri D’Elle x On High, Primitive Rising), scored 30.7 to sit second in the mare’s CCI4*-L debut.
“She’s a wonderful, flamboyant mover that really tries in the ring,” Boyd said. “She’s just starting to get the hang of this level. I was thrilled with the way she performed. She’s a work in progress on the flat, but I think in years to come she’ll be hard to beat in the dressage.”
“Cue” is coming off a win in the CCI4*-S at Fair Hill in April, and Boyd said she feels ready to take on the challenge tomorrow. “The course is typical Bromont — way bigger than your run-of-the-mill CCI4*-L — a bit of terrain and every question you can imagine out there. It will be a mission to get around well.”
Boyd also has his homebred Ray Price, owned by the Ray Price Syndicate, sitting in fourth place on 32.2. “I’ve got both of my horses very, very fit. They’ve been schooling everything I could imagine that would be here in my cross country field. The biggest thing is to get out there and ride every fence I can and to also make sure I have plenty of horse in the end. I’ve used them up a little bit early here in the past, with Trading Aces and Kyra last year, so it’s important to pace your horse.”
Katherine Coleman and her own Monte Classico, a 10-year-old German Sport Horse gelding (Monte Bellini X W-Sally, by Saami xx), were second down centerline this morning and ultimately sit third at the conclusion of dressage on 31.0.
“I think it was a better test than he did at Fair Hill; his changes were cleaner. He got wild when I went down to the 10-minute ring, and I thought, ‘Oh my god, he’s turned into a fire-breathing dragon,’ … and then he went into the ring and was great and settled down,” Katherine said.
“He’s really fit right now, so he’s fresh. Riding a four-star-long fit horse in a dressage test is different from riding a short-format horse, so they’re just that bit more up. Erik Duvander (U.S. Performance Director for Eventing) said I could have half-halted him up a bit more, and someone else told me I was a bit conservative, but I was also riding a much fitter horse.”
“Monte” won his CCI4*-L debut at the Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event last fall, but Katherine noted this is a much stiffer track and will definitely be the biggest course he’s seen in his career.
“Being based in the UK and competing at Bramham and Boekelo and Blenheim, I’ve been there for the last eight years so I know how all the courses ride. You get a better feel for the ground, or you’ve seen how all the questions ride in the past, or you know the course designer, and it is a huge advantage.
“It’s intimidating to come to a venue like this and a track like this when you haven’t ridden that many courses from this designer and have never been on the grounds. I have a new appreciation for riders who are coming over to do Bramham, for example, for their first time.”
While Katherine, who is originally from New Orleans and had only competed up to the Intermediate level before she moved to England, would usually go back across the pond earlier in the spring, she decided to stay in the U.S. through Bromont and target this event with Monte.
“I wanted to spend more time over here for this horse to get him seen a bit more. I’ve been plugging away at developing a team over the last couple of years, and I think now they’re ready and at the level that it’s time to compare apples to apples and get them in front of the selectors. I am an American, so I want to be seen in America more.”
Dan Clasing and his own MW Gangster’s Game, a 9-year-old Anglo European gelding (Solitair X Fernhill City Girl, by Ghareeb), delivered a personal best of 32.4 to sit tied with Buck Davidson and Copper Beach in fifth place overnight.
Click here to view full scores from the CCI4*-L.
Colleen Rutledge and Covert Rights Lead CCI3*-S
Colleen Rutledge is continuing on the comeback trail with her homebred Covert Rights, an 11-year-old Thoroughbred/Clydesdale gelding (BFF Incognito X Let’s Get It Right, by Covert Operation), and leads the CCI3*-S on a score of 27.6.
Dana Cooke and Kingfisher Park’s FE Whole Lotta Rosie, an 8-year-old Wurttemberger mare (Riccione X Fife, by Fuerst Piccolo), scored 27.7 to sit in second place after dressage.
Boyd Martin and Windurra LLC’s Barry, who is out of Colleen Loach’s former four-star mount Freespirit, sit third on 28.2 in the horse’s debut at the level.
Cross country starts at 8:30 a.m. EST with the CCI4*-L, followed by the CCI3*-L divisions starting at 10:36 a.m. EST, the CCI2*-L divisions at 1:33 p.m. EST and the CCI3*-S at 3:25 p.m. EST. Click below for starting orders:
We have picture-perfect conditions forecasted for cross country tomorrow, with sunny conditions and temperatures hovering in the 60-degree range. There is no live stream for cross country, but EN will be running live updates for the CCI4*-L. ALL of show jumping will be shown live on Sunday on Bromont’s Facebook page.
Thank you for following along with EN’s coverage of Bromont. Click here to catch up with yesterday’s dressage reports. We wish safe cross country trips to all. Go Eventing.