Originally published in Sidelines Magazine, August 2010
Winning her very first Grand Prix at the Memorial Day Classic in front of a packed crowd at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center on May 31 was not the highlight of 17-year-old Lucy Davis’ riding career. The blond-haired girl with a pixie face and a soft little voice had a few other notches in her belt before she topped industry veterans Susie Hutchinson and Mike Endicott in a four-horse jumpoff during the $25,000 Memorial Day Grand Prix.
A member of the 2009 North American Young Rider Zone 10 team, Lucy’s silver medal performance at last summer’s NAYRC Finals in Kentucky earned her an invitation to compete at the European Young Masters in Germany in December. As the only American competing, Lucy handily won the European Youngster Cup at CSI Frankfurt with the only clear trip in the final round. And as her longtime coaches, Dick Carvin and Susie Schroer of Meadow Grove Farm in Lakeview Terrace, California couldn’t be there, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum stepped in as her coach for the week.
That’s a whole lot of career highlights for one young rider, but Lucy counts her greatest success (so far) as the Youngster Cup win: “It’s such a bigger sport over there,” she explains. “It felt like, everything felt like a big deal. It was a completely different atmosphere and I was really happy to be able to do well in it.”
“Doing well” is putting it lightly, and Lucy is quick to admit that a percentage of her success was luck when she faced off with 30 horses and riders from all over Europe. “My goal was to make it to the last day, and when I did I was so excited,” she says. “I felt like my skills were on par with everyone else, but there is always some luck involved.”
And riding with Meredith was “really inspirational. She’s an excellent coach and one of the best riders in the world. Having her coach me was a really special opportunity.”
On the tail of winning the Memorial Day Classic (in which she also placed third with new horse Nemo 119) Lucy headed back to Europe to take up with Meredith and Marcus Beerbaum for a month of summer training and showing. It was time well spent, as Lucy was gearing up to focus on the 2010 Young Riders Team, for which she qualified this spring.
Even with the opportunity to train with the best in the world, Lucy never forgets to balance the rest of life with her riding career. A big fan of the Lakers (she cheered them on at the Staples Center during the championships this year), she tries to mix up her social life and barn life to avoid burnout. Simple laid-back riding with her retired equitation horse, stabled at her home in Los Angeles, serves as a good refresher for the incoming high school senior.
“I love riding and it’s my passion, but if I only rode and was at shows every weekend it would be too much,” says Lucy. “I also like to just be at home and to go out with friends.”
If her greatest challenge is balancing riding with school and a social life, she is one lucky teenager. It will be interesting to see where she leaps to next, as Lucy Davis is undoubtedly standing on the precipice of what will be a notable show jumping career.