Holy Buck! Davidson Enters Five Horses at Rolex

Buck Davidson and Park Trader at Fair Hill. Photo by Jenni Autry. Buck Davidson and Park Trader at Fair Hill. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Eleven more pairs have been added to the Rolex entry list in the past 24 hours, with the most notable appearance being Buck Davidson and his five — FIVE! — mounts: Ballynoe Castle RM, Mar de Amor, Petite Flower, The Apprentice and Park Trader. Buck has already achieved superhuman status as far as the chinchillas are concerned, and this valiant attempt gives him even more street cred.

But he’ll ultimately have to choose three of the five to ride under the three-horse maximum per rider restriction imposed by Rolex. According to the Rolex Omnibus listing: “Competitors may ride at the most three (3) horses. Consideration may be given for four (4), but request must be made in writing with reasons.” I’m envisioning Buck’s request in writing with the following reasons: “This is just WHAT I DO.”

Kate and I were texting back and forth last night about whether there is an automatic cap on the number of horses a rider can have at a four-star — yes, these are in fact the riveting things we discuss late at night — and since we were both unsure, I dove into the rulebooks to investigate. Here’s the scoop:

Under rule 504, there is no set limit on the number of horses a rider can have in an individual competition like Rolex, but, of course, there are exceptions. The event’s Organizing Committee can impose a balloting procedure for any reason, which has to be listed in the official schedule. You can see on page 8 of the official Rolex schedule that the event has imposed a three-horse maximum per rider.

Restrictions can also be imposed if the event has more entries than it can accommodate. Under rule 543.2, FEI judges are allowed to see a maximum of 50 horses per day in the dressage, though the Technical Delegate and President of the Ground Jury can agree to increase that maximum by 10 percent, leading to 55 horses per day. So Rolex could technically see up to 110 horses entered before imposing additional mount restrictions.

It’s common to see entries restricted to two per rider at heavily contested events like Badminton and Burghley, but Rolex is generally much lighter on entries, hence the allowance of three horses per rider. So all that is to say that Buck will ultimately have to choose three horses from the five he’s entered. But it’s still pretty impressive he has five that could compete were it not for the entry limit.

As for which three Buck will choose, I’ll put my money on Balleynoe Castle RM — who is making a steady comeback since the bone bruise on his stifle that kept him home from Aachen last year — and Park Trader, who rallied to a second-place finish at Fair Hill CCI3* last fall after a freak spill at Burghley. And I’d selfishly love to see Petite Flower contest her first four-star this spring. That little mare is a blast to watch.

Will Coleman and his still relatively new ride Conair are also now on the Rolex entry list, along with fan favorites Colleen Rutledge and Shiraz. Julie Norman and Consensus, Dana Widstrand and Relentless Pursuit, and Canadian Rachel McDonough and Irish Rhythm also appeared in this most recent update, bringing this morning’s total entries to 47. 

Click here to see the current Rolex entry list.

Go Rolex. Go Eventing.

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