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Davidson to Ride in Reining Freestyle CompetitionBy Kentucky Equine Research Staff · April 16, 2014

When the World Championship Freestyle reining competition is held as part of the Kentucky Reining Cup schedule of events during the last weekend in April, one of the competitors making a guest appearance will be an accomplished equestrian from a vastly different discipline. Bruce Davidson, Sr., has been invited to participate in the freestyle reining event on Saturday evening. Davidson is more familiar with the cross-country course at the Kentucky Horse Park, having ridden in the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event numerous times since the event was initiated almost four decades ago.

Davidson is a top international competitor in three-day eventing. He has represented the United States at two Pan American Games, bringing home team and individual medals, and was twice named World Champion of Eventing. He competed for the United States team in numerous Olympic Games, helping to earn gold team medals in 1976 and 1984 and silver team medals in 1972 and 1996. He was named USEA leading rider every year from 1980 to 1995, and was inducted into the USEA Eventing Hall of Fame in 2009. Sponsored by Kentucky Equine Research, Davidson is active in breeding, training, and riding world-class sport horses. 

In reining, a rider guides a horse through a series of movements including small slow circles, large fast circles, flying lead changes, roll-backs over the hocks, 360-degree spins, and sliding stops from a full gallop. Freestyle reining adds music to highlight the horse’s performance.

In addition to the freestyle competition that offers prizes totaling $20,000, the Kentucky Reining Cup events include the $35,000 FEI Concours de Reining International, the $50,000 Kentucky Reining Cup Team Challenge, and the $15,000 Adequan/USEF National Open Reining Championship. The weekend also serves as a selection trial for the team that will represent the United States at the FEI World Equestrian Games to be held in France this fall.

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