Blog Archives

Richard Davison makes a great debut outing at Myerscough Premier League Show

Proceedings got underway on Wednesday 6th March for WOW Saddles sponsored rider, Richard Davison, as Myerscough College hosted it’s Premier League Show, with classes up to Grand Prix.

Richard made his return to the scene following the sale of his prolific ride Hiscox Artemis to Swiss Under 25 rider Phinie von Bremen earlier this year and dazzled the judges with a plus-70% win in the Grand Prix with 12 year old Holstein gelding, Hiscox Aliano. This horse had already shown much promise at Small Tour under Richard’s wife, Gillian Davison, and now proves to be one to watch!

Here is the fabulous write up featured in Horse & Hound magazine the following week…

richard Davison news Aliano

Richard Davison gets back to normal after a hectic start to the year!

What a hectic time it has been for WOW Sponsored rider Richard Davison – and we are not talking just competing! His social life has been buzzing! “After a full on 2012, especially after the Olympics and commitments with World Class, I spent a fun Christmas and New Year with friends and family before we jetted off on a ski trip to Meribel to stay in a luxurious chalet,” Richard tells us. “It was a wonderful present from Lady Derby to celebrate her horse Artemis’ Olympic selection and performance and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.”
“We arrived home for just one day – enough time to set the washing machine into overdrive – and then popped back on a plane to Barbados to celebrate legendary show jumper, Geoff Billington’s wedding to the lovely Sarah Saltman. John Whitaker was best man, and guests included his brother Michael Whitaker and a host of other equestrian personalities – it was as you would expect, a lot of partying!”

“Now the partying is over and we are getting back to the normal routine thank goodness! I have been taking several World Class clinics with Rob Hoekstra and carrying out other duties and attending meetings. All the horses are back in work now and I am looking forward to starting Aliano in Grand Prix classes over the next few months.”


Richard Davison on the blood rule…

The recent edition of Horse magazine featured a wonderful interview with our sponsored rider Richard Davison. We have posted a few extracts for you. The entire article is available in Horse magazine, which can be found in all good magazine retailers.

Richard discusses his views on the blood rule…

“How can blood on a horse be a welfare issue in one discipline, resulting in elimination, but not in another? Finally the FEI vet committee has come in behind the argument – to me, it has to be a judgement made by a qualified vet, not a dressage judge. It’s nonsense that currently a judge can see blood on a horse and the horse is eliminated but there is no requirement for it to see a vet. ..”

Richard Davison Q and A

The recent edition of Horse magazine featured a wonderful interview with our sponsored rider Richard Davison. We have posted a few extracts for you. The entire article is available in Horse magazine, which can be found in all good magazine retailers.

Dressage has a new format for the Olympics, which you were involved in developing. Are you pleased with the results?

“I was a member of an FEI task force that came up with the new format. Our role was to advice the FEI. While the basis of our findings was accepted, not all were. If you were asking whether the Olympic format is my choice, no it ain’t. But we were working to a precise brief. I don’t think it’s the best format, but it’s the one the FEI has gone with.”

What would you like to see done differently?

“I would like more starters in the Olympic Games. Dressage has 50, which is fewer that showjumping and eventing, which will each have 75 starters. I also think we should have a drop score. This system puts a lot of pressure on the horses, although it will make for an exciting competition.”


Richard Davison Q and A

The recent edition of Horse magazine featured a wonderful interview with our sponsored rider Richard Davison. We have posted a few extracts for you. The entire article is available in Horse magazine, which can be found in all good magazine retailers.

You must be delighted with Artemis’ performance at the World Cup Final…

“I was really pleased. Artemis is feeling fantastic – he has matured. He has been quite a late developer in that respect but in every test since Olympia he has given me a great feeling.”

Artemis has become more consistent in his performance – what has changed?

“He’s quite a spooky horse and things have caught his eye (during tests) distracting him. He has quick reactions. I only do five-star shows with him and they are big events with big atmospheres and lots going on. I take the approach that you have to address these issues and keep going, so the horse gets used to things and becomes less fearful. It seems to be working. He has been way over 70% in all his tests since Olympia.”

Richard discusses specific techniques to use if a horse spooks.

“it’s all to do with release and pressure. If he is going to spook at something to the right and move to the left, I apply pressure with my left leg and left rein. It’s very simple.”

Richard Davison blazes a trail for the Brits at Greenwich

WOW Saddles sponsored Richard Davison (pictured below at the World Cup Final this year), was first of the Brits to go yesterday at the dressage Grand Prix at the Games riding Artemis.  A typically polished performance from the experienced campaigners gained score of 72.812 and the biggest cheers we think we have heard throughout the whole of the Games. It even appeared that Richard was fighting back tears afterwards. “Us blokes don’t always show our emotions but it gets harder as you get older,” Richard said…. Well done to you both!!

Charlotte Dujardin was last to go for the Brits (and the pressure was on after Laura B’s disappointing score, which left Britain and Germany very close in the team rankings). The pair produced a spectacular, stylish, unhurried and expressive test; the score was a massive 83.663.

Valegro is certainly a horse to rival Germany’s Desperados, a German horse that is a potential successor to Totilas in the “Wow” stakes. Charlotte pushed Team GB into the lead, and in doing so, broke the existing record for an Olympic Grand Prix test. “That was anther level out there,” said her trainer Carl Hester. “The horse is only ten years old!”


The action at Greenwich on Friday concluded with Charlotte Dujardin for Britain in first place; Adelinde Cornelissen for the Netherlands in second; Helen Langehanenberg for Germany in third; Kristina Sprehe for Germany in fourth and Carl Hester for Britain in fifth. The team placings are Great Britain in first, followed by Germany, and then the Netherlands.

The show jumping started today at the Park, where team GB made a promising start – good luck, boys!

Interview with Richard Davison

Richard Davison has been nominated to the BOA for selection to Team GB by the British Equestrian Federation.

Richard is interviewed post-winning the Grand Prix Special at the World Dressage Masters in Munich in May 2012.

London 2012 British Olympic dressage team nominated

The British Olympic Association (BOA) confirmed on Friday, July 22 the four dressage athletes and their horses who will compete for Team GB at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Although Great Britain has never won an Olympic dressage medal, a recent improvement in form could buck the trend

The selected riders, who were nominated to the BOA for selection to Team GB by the British Equestrian Federation, will compete at Greenwich Park this summer on the 2nd, 3rd, 7th and 9th August. They are, for the team:

• Laura Bechtolsheimer riding Mistral Hojris

• Charlotte Dujardin riding Valegro

• Carl Hester riding Uthopia

The athlete selected to Team GB to contest the individual competition is:

• Richard Davison riding Artemis

London will be Carl Hester and Richard Davison’s fourth Olympic Games, and Laura Bechtolsheimer’s second after making her Olympic debut in Beijing 2008. While London 2012 will be Charlotte Dujardin’s Olympic debut, she has already made a substantial mark on the international dressage world during her short career to date, with her exciting horse Valegro.

Although Great Britain has never won an Olympic dressage medal, a recent improvement in form could buck the trend this summer. Laura Bechtolsheimer, Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester were all part of the quartet that won a historic gold medal at the 2011 European Championships, where Hester scooped two individual silver medals and Bechtolsheimer took home a bronze.

All four riders boast records to their names. Dujardin recently broke the world and British record in the Grand Prix Special test at Hagen in May, scoring 88.022% and Bechtolsheimer also bettered her own British Grand Prix Freestyle record, scoring an impressive 87.60%. Hester now holds the British record in the Grand Prix test of 83.30%.

European medallist Richard Davison is also no stranger to success and has returned to international competition in fighting form in the last couple of years with Artemis, with whom he has scored a number of international wins and placings. The combination finished fifth in the 2012 Reem Acra FEI World Cup.

Richard Davison, sponsored byWOW Saddles, said: ‘To ride in the Olympics is the greatest honour a rider can ever have and to do it in front of the home crowd in London will be a once-in-a-lifetime privilege. But I’m really happy for Artemis’ owners, sponsors, home team and supporters who have believed in this horse since the beginning and deserve this moment.’

All four athletes compete as individuals, but only three athletes (Bechtolsheimer, Dujardin and Hester) compete as the team for the Games. The dressage competition encompasses the Grand Prix, the Grand Prix Special and the Grand Prix Freestyle – only three athletes from any nation may compete in the Freestyle competition. Reserve athletes and horses will be announced soon.

With thanks to The Metro.

Horse Insecurities: Spooking or napping whilst hacking

Our sponsored rider, Richard Davison discusses spooking and napping and how to cope if this does happen.

Horses are herd animals. They’re preyed upon, rather than preying on others, unless you count munching on grass. So naturally their instinct is to run when things are looking a little sketchy. After all, none of us want to be eaten by a lion or that gigantic, roaring, hissing beast ever encroaching…a lorry to you and I. These are a number of important horse behaviours to bare in mind when you’re having difficulty out on the roads or hacking.

For horses feeling insecure about the environment that they are in, say passing a lorry, tractor or cows, whatever it be, they’ll want to get out of their and they’ll do whatever they can to put distance between them and the danger.

We can aid horses in their ability to handle situations with increasing pressure but the solution is long term and a “quick fix” will always be overridden by their innate reactions. So how can we manipulate these innate reactions so as to benefit both us and our horse?

Leadership, hark back to the opening sentence. Horses are herd animals and each herd will have a select few of leaders. You’ll need to become your horse’s leader. This does not mean your partnership becomes a dictatorship though, making horses do things is not a long-term solution, as I’ve said before, win-win.

Our equine partners can be incredibly trusting of us as riders and it is this that you will aim to build on. Be the provider. Be the one that can feed him, who can water him when he needs it. Their must be respect and reliance from him to you. Thus in a time of need, you will hold the answers.

Ground work is the best place to start. Simple things such as leading are often overlooked but are a vital part of their bringing up. A halter or head collar with a lunge line are all you need to start this work. Work on moving him around, forwards, backwards, left and right with the lightest of aids. It is vital that you keep it really simple, why do more when less will be just as, or more efficient and effective. Get the basics nailed in walk with halts and then once you have this base, you can then work up through the different gaits, using the level below as a place of understanding and a “reset button” when things go a little awry.

Use voice aids whilst on the lunge as they can be really respond well to this. Remember, it is not necessarily what you say, I’ve yet to teach mine the English language, but rather the tone and way in which you say it. Be consistent in your work, repetition of an exercise being carried out correctly will be what really helps to alter his natural habits.

The horse will learn through experimenting. For them, there is no right or wrong, it is key that we do not think of horses as humans. It is us that creates in our mind what is right and wrong. As such we must channel their experimentation so as they keep experimenting until they react in such a way that it achieves our goal. When the begins to head down the road we are looking for, reward him, this will often be with a release of pressure. When he is not on the correct road, keep applying small amounts of pressure up so he keeps experimenting. This does not mean force!

Try to spend time with your horse, be clear and positive, gain his loyalty and in return he will respect and look to you for the answers to higher pressure situations.

Read the full article by clicking here


Congratulations to our sponsored rider Richard Davison and his horse Hiscox Artemis who took second place at the final World Cup qualifier in Gothenburg.

It was no easy job for the last-man-in, Davison, as the crammed stadium of Swedish spectators were still roaring their approval for their own hero Patrik Kittel as the Brit entered the ring.   Gothenburg presents a particularly tough test, as the dressage arena just squeezes inside the confines of the oval-shaped ice-rink, with the four corners touching the surrounding walls.  Davison had to call on all his reserves of experience to steer the Countess of Derby and John Dodd’s Hiscox Artemis through their floor-plan, but the 56-year-old rider knows all there is to know about ring-craft and when 75.850 went up on the board he was well in the frame.  Kittel’s score, meanwhile, had been swallowed up by the electronic blackout, but it was eventually retrieved and the home crowd rose to their feet with delight during the prize-giving ceremony.

Kittel admitted that the excitement of the spectators had affected his own performance.  “Sometimes I didn’t have one-hundred percent control, and we made a little mistake in the two-tempis” he pointed out, but he added “tonight will stay in my memory for a very long time – the reception I got from the crowd was incredible!”

Davison said “I had a good time and a great ride” and that it would have been “nice to win in Patrik Kittel fan-land”, but, he joked, “did you notice I did a deliberate mistake for all of Sweden because I didn’t think I’d get out of their alive if I won!” he added.

Source FEI media department