Bruce “Buck” Davidson Jr. has been in the saddle since birth. While Buck may be known as son of Eventing legend Bruce Davidson, Buck is successful in his own right. His many accomplishments on and off of a horse make for an outstanding athlete, horseman, competitor, trainer, coach and clinician.
About Bruce Davidson Sr.
Buck Davidson's father, Bruce O. Davidson was born in Rome, New York on December 31st 1949. He was the third of four children born to his parents Francis and Annette. His father, a businessman, and his mother, a concert pianist turned fulltime housewife, neither had any real experience with or desire to be around horses. As a result, it was not until the family moved to Westport, Massachusetts did Bruce have the opportunity to realize his great passion for horses. Like any boy, Bruce frowned at the idea of moving and leaving all his friends behind. But this void of friendship was quickly filled with his newfound friendship in horses.
A friend of his parents, Bruce found a near surrogate father in Mr. Tuckerman, who showed Bruce the bond he could find with a horse. It was also Mr. Tuckerman who, knowing Bruce’s aptitude to lose things, painted everything, in his own colors of red and yellow, before his first trip to pony club so everyone would know who to return it to.
His parents were hard working and knew the value of money, they didn’t want to just give Bruce a pony, they wanted him to realize the work involved and the responsibility. So each summer Bruce would get a pony for next to nothing at the sales, he would train it and take care of it all summer and then sell it before going back to school in the fall. He would then use that money through out the year and then make sure he saved enough to get a better pony the next spring. He did this for years. It wasn’t until he finally made it to buying Irish Cap that he just couldn’t sell him. He knew that he had something really special. It was Irish Cap that Bruce says taught him everything he knows. And it was Irish Cap that gave Bruce his first World Championship Gold Medal in 1974.
Bruce left Iowa State University in his third year of pre-veterinary medicine to train with the USET, to his parents chagrin. Bruce knew he was never going back.
Bruce has been competing internationally since 1971. He won his first Olympic metal in 1972. He has won two Olympic team Gold medals, 1976 & 1984, and two Olympic team Silver medals, 1972 & 1996. Bruce was the first American to win a World Championship title, 1974, and in those days the winning individuals’ country was awarded the honor of hosting the next World Equestrian Games. So that is why the Kentucky Horse Park was constructed. He then defended his title in Kentucky, 1978, to become the first and only equestrian to ever win back-to-back titles. He was individual Bronze Metal winner at the World Equestrian Games in Stockholm, Sweden in 1990. Bruce was the individual and team Gold Medalist at the 1995 Pam American Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He was the first American to ever win prestigious Bedminton CCI**** in England (1995). Bruce was the highest places rider in the World FEI rankings in 1993 and 1995; and he has been named the USCTA’s leading rider for all the years from 1980 – 1995.
Bruce has trained numerous horses, such as: Irish Cap, Might Tango, Beacon Charm, Dr. Peaches, JJ Babu, Pirate Lion, Regent Lion, Heyday, Eagle Lion, Squelch, Little Tricky, Jam. He has trained them from the beginning up through the international levels.
Buck runs a training and competition facility during the winter in Ocala, FL and the summers in Riegelsville, PA. His students range from young riders and adult amateurs to professionals. He has a unique ability to connect and improve his students and their horses by truly caring about the progress of each individual student and horse. The end results speak for themselves.
Team BDJ includes a great group of people including: Natalia, Woodge & Patrick.
Buck contributes to eventing articles that have been published by The Chronicle of the Horse, USEA and more. Buck is also a board member of FlyPups.
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