Barbara “BeBe” Davis on Rotano Win North American Junior Championship Freestyle Gold
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July 18, 2015
By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
Barbara “BeBe” Davis, whose family moved to Florida full-time this year to maintain training, won the North American Junior Championship Freestyle gold medal on Rotano Saturday , the third straight continental championships the rider has medaled.
With the top three combinations separated by only 0.450 per cent, BeBe, 17 years old, and the 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding captured gold on a score of 71.825 per cent. Helen Claire McNulty of Holland, Michigan on Checkmate took silver on 71.375 per cent after winning the individual gold medal Friday. Cammille Bergeron of British Columbia/Alberta on Delfiano won bronze on 71.725 per cent.
The victory for BeBe at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington came after Rotano developed a high temperature after traveling here from Wellington and, she told dressage-news.com, she was “not sure he would be able to compete.” However, he recovered sufficiently for the team competition and was better by the individual test.
“The way he was pushing and working for me today gave me an amazing feeling,” she said, “the best feeling I have ever had with him.
The result was the second highest for the pair, surpassed only by 72.125 per cent in Wellington in March, 2014.
BeBe said she had not paid attention to the scores until after her ride, the second last with Helen Claire last to start, but when the preliminary scores and then slight changes to the final results were announced it was “a great feeling to have had that kind of close competition. It was crazy when we saw the final scores. It was actually awesome.”
BeBe was selected by the U.S. Equestrian Federation to go to Europe this summer with Feivel Mousekewitz, her other competition horse. But he developed an eye infection and treatment prevented the trip.
She said she loves being based in Wellington even during the hot and humid summer as there is a growing year-round community.
Training with Oded Shimoni, she said, has led to continued improvement with Rotano. “I have seen such a change with him, especially in the past three months–exponentially better, more and more willing to work for me.”
BeBe said she is moving up to the Young Rider division later this year and after the Global Festival in Wellington in 2016 plans to go to Europe to compete.
BeBe and Rotano won the Freestyle bronze at these championships in 2013 then on Feivel Mousekewitz was on the gold medal team in 2014.
BeBe has been a fixture on the Florida’s international circuit since competing with ponies in 2012 then moving to the Junior division in 2013 and has rarely been out of the top three places since then at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington.
She won the United States Pony Championship in 2012, the U.S. Junior Championship on Rotano in 2013 and silver medalist on Rotano in 2014.
BeBe has been a participant in the Emerging Dressage Athlete Program for the past two years. After the last Global Festival circuit , she began training with the Wellington-based Oded Shimoni.
Quebec’s Naima Moreira Laliberte on Belafonte won the Young Rider Freestyle gold on a score of 71.825 per cent with Hannah Bauer of Purcellville, Virginia on Trustful took silver on 70.000 per cent and Kerrigan Gluch of Wellington on Vaquero HGF the bronze on 69.050 per cent.