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Lucy Davis finds success at Del Mar and Jr/Young Rider Championships

By DANIEL K. LEW / Horsetrader staff - September 3rd, 2009 - Cover Story

September 3rd Issue

September 3rd Issue

DEL MAR — The Showpark Summer Classic hunter/jumper show from Aug. 19-23 at Del Mar Horsepark featured the $5,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. Among the riders in that class were some of the West Coast’s best junior-and-amateur riders who have the potential to become future Grand Prix stars.

Some of those riders recently returned from representing California and competing admirably at the 2009 FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships in Lexington, Ky.

Samantha Harrison and Santika, owned by Harrison Farms LLC, were part of the Zone 10 riders to take the Team Gold Medal home to California from the North American Junior Team Show Jumping competition. Back at the $5,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, Harrison and Santika finished in second place.

Hannah Selleck, another standout up-and-coming rider with plenty of success in the junior/young rider levels, finished in third place at the $5,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic aboard Bauer, owned by Descanso Farm.

Lucy Davis and True Love win the $5,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic at the Showpark Summer Classic in Del Mar.

Daniel K. Lew / Horsetrader photo

Lucy Davis and True Love win the $5,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic at the Showpark Summer Classic in Del Mar.

Earning the $5,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic champions blue ribbon was Lucy Davis of Los Angeles, who rode her 13-year-old gelding True Love, also known as “Lovey.” At the 2009 FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships, Davis earned an Individual Silver Medal in the Young Rider show jumping division.

Doing well at Young Riders Championships followed by the victory at the Showpark Summer Classic was evidence of further growth between Davis and her horse. “I’ve had True Love, for a little over a year and he is awesome,” Davis said. “Starting at HITS Thermal earlier in the year, we were starting to get into a groove and then, the spring was OK. We sort of went into a dip in the beginning of summer, but starting with Young Riders, I wasn’t too confident, but he was excellent and we were able to pull it through.”

In the Junior division last year at the FEI North American Junior Championships, Lucy Davis of Zone 10 won an Individual Gold Medal, in addition to being part of the Team Gold Medal-winning Junior Team. Davis finished her five rounds of jumping there without a single fault.

This year, Davis moved up to the Young Rider level. “It’s a big step up from Juniors, which is hard and difficult itself,” Davis said. “I was really happy to just be one of the few who stayed on,” referring to the many riders who encountered spills or falls.

Davis said competition at the FEI North American Junior/Young Rider Championships was difficult and a challenging test for her and the teammates from California. She described the courses there as “big, high and really technical. It’s also really good to compete with teams from Canada and Mexico there, so it feels like its a big deal–and also really fun.”

She further said it was a good learning experience. “Now, I feel like I can do anything, after that–it was a big test. Now, I’m super confident in myself and my horse again,” Davis added.

Next, Davis is hoping to qualify for the annual USEF National Junior Jumper Championships which will be held Oct. 8-10 during the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, Penn. The jumper competition for junior riders features both a Team Championship and an Individual Championship. Amateur-Owner Jumpers can qualify based on prize money won at shows from August 2008 to August 2009. Among the featured classes will be the $12,500 USEF Prix de States Championships for both Teams and Individuals.

“I’ve been riding since I was little and have been around horses all my life,” said Davis, 16, who is starting her junior year in high school this fall. “Depending on where I go to college, I’ll see if I’m able to keep horses,” but she says horses will continue to be a part of her life somehow.

“I’ve been really lucky to be successful in riding. I think a lot of it has to do with a love for it. I really love riding and am passionate about it. If you really love it, your horses–and the love of the sport–then you’re more likely to work hard–and it has to be fun. Like everyone I would like to one day go to the Olympics with a little bit of luck–that’s a dream; it’s not an official goal yet,” she laughs.

In the meanwhile, Davis is finding a median between riding, school, family and non-equestrian activities. “You have to balance out everything. I make sure I’m home a lot of weekends, so I can see friends and keep up with my school work,” she said. “I think I still love riding so much because I’m not spending 24/7 at shows, even though I do show a lot. You need time at home to regroup.”

For complete results from the Showtime Summer Classic and Blenheim EquiSports shows, visit: www.showpark.com/results.asp

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