Four-star Eventer Laine Ashker was in the saddle before she was born. Her mother, Valerie Ashker, rode in the Area 6 Preliminary Championships while pregnant with Laine. One could say that Laine has had a decided advantage — she was born to ride. Says Laine of her beginnings in the saddle“…I think it was pretty easy to assume I would love horses”
Laine got her start in horses with the Sierra Gold Pony Club in Shingle Springs, California, where she was born. Laine says her mother taught her most of what she knows. “Aside from mom, I have had the honor of training with greats such as Jimmy Wofford, George Theodorescu, Stephen Bradley, Phillip Dutton, George Morris, Katie Prudant, Lauren Hough, Laura Kraut, Captain Mark Phillips, and Radu Marcoci. I currently train with Buck Davidson over the jumps and Kim Severson in the flat.”
Laine is currently based out of Richmond, VA in the Summer months and Aiken SC and Ocala FL during the winter . She says her big horse is the 4-star horse, ANTHONY PATCH, aka Alex. Alex — an 0ff-The-Track Thoroughbred (OTTB) Laine picked up at the Charles Town Race Track — is stabled with several young horses coming up the ranks including her most promising youngster THE BIG ISLAND aka Lyle — a whopping 17.2 hand OTTB from California. “My mother has a business of finding horses off the track and turning them into event horses, so I am always stocked with extremely talented youngsters!”
Laine’s mother is also her training partner. “…Mom usually starts them on trails and gets them moving forward and off the leg and my job is to simply add the finishing touches! We make a great team!”
When not competing, Laine says she enjoys baking cheesecakes, frequenting Chipotle with her friends and visiting her parents in California. “My mom, Valerie and my dad, Michael are the most important people in my life. Although they both live in CA and I reside on the East coast, I manage to have a very close relationship with both of my parents.” And, besides her horses, Laine lives with a Lovebird named Milly.
Currently, Laine is a member of the USEA, USEF, CVSJA, USDF, and the FEI. And recently, Laine was named to the USEF Developing Riders List for 2011 and will train with USEF Eventing Chef d’Equipe Captain Mark Phillips.
When asked what draws her to the sport, Laine responded, “Above all, I love the relationship that is fortified between the horse and the rider in Eventing. I also love the camaraderie between the competitors, as everyone is always helpful and offering advice as to how a combination or footing on a course is riding.”
Growing up as the son of eventer Bruce Davidson, Sr., and the grandson of foxhunting legend Nancy Penn Smith Hannum, one might think that Bruce “Buck” Davidson would feel a sense of entitlement to his position in equine industry. But nothing could be further from the truth.
Buck Davidson, now 33, is well known for his strong work ethic and humble attitude. These two traits are foundation of his stellar success and the string of successful horses standing in his barn. Loyal supporters and owners alike have found him to be honest, tough and intuitive.
Perhaps the biggest factor in Buck’s success is his willingness to meet each horse as an individual and bring him or her along according to their needs, not his. While some generalizations can be made regarding breeds and training methods, Buck is unwilling to fit any given horse into a structured program, but rather builds his program around each horse. He is an intuitive rider and his background riding in steeplechases, foxhunts and other horse sports, influences his training strategy as he develops each of the horses in his barn today.
Buck’s attention to details also certainly plays a role in keeping his string healthy and sound. The most important component in his training program, according to Buck, is footing. In addition, he uses FLAIR® Equine Nasal Strips because he has noticed a difference in how his horses go when they wear them. Since noticing a positive change in their performance when galloping, Buck uses FLAIR Strips on his top horses on days when he gallops, and on all his horses when they compete.
Clearly his combination of horse sense and innate riding talent is producing winners. He has a stable of 30 horses, with several 4-star contenders. Something most event riders only dream of.
Watch for Buck and these amazing equine athletes:
Ballynoe Castle RM
My Boy Bobby
May I Tell Ya
Phillip was born in 1963 in Nyngan, New South Wales, Australia. Horses were a part of life on his family’s sheep and wheat farm, and most of Phillip’s time off the farm was spent at pony club rallies and horse trials. He continued to pursue his passion for riding while studying in Sydney at Newington College and later at Agricultural College.
In 1991, Phillip moved to the United States to train in a more internationally competitive environment, and to prepare for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, at which he was a member of Australia’s Gold Medal Three-day Eventing Team. Since his move to the U.S., Phillip represented Australia in three Olympics and four World Championships. In 2006, Phillip became an American citizen and changed his competitive nationality so that he would be eligible to represent his adoptive home, the United States. Phillip was very honored to do so at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro in July, 2007 where he was a member of the Gold Medal winning team and Individual Silver Medalist. Phillip made his debut on the United States Olympic Three Day Team a the Bejiing Olympics in Hong Kong in 2008 where the team placed 7th. Phillip was also a member of the 4th Placed Three Day Team at the World Equestrian Games in 2010.
He is very active on the U.S. eventing circuit, winning the USEA Leading Rider of the Year title in 1998, and 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. In 2005 he was also the number one FEI World Event Rider.
Phillip and his wife, Evie, own, manage and train out of True Prospect Farm, in West Grove, Pennsylvania and at their Red Oak Farm in Aiken, SC. He dedicates a good deal of his time to coaching other riders. He coached the US Area II Young Riders in 2001 and 2002. He also coaches many adult amateurs and a number of the USET short listed riders.
Phillip is a founding member of the Professional Riders Organization (PRO) and is on the USEF Safety Committee, the USEF High Performance Committee for Eventing and the USEF Board. In 2009, Phillip was voted the Developing Rider Coach of the Year.
Phillip is pleased to promote the excellent products of his generous sponsors: Cosequin, Pennfield Feed, Wise Equestrian, Outback Trading Company, Charles Owen, SSG Riding Gloves, Flair Equine Nasal Strips, KER (Kentucky Equine Research), ProChaps, Classic Equine Equipl, Inc., EcoGold, OnTyte and EzAll.
Phillip has recently partnered with Ronald Zabala to develop a line of revolutionary saddles. Dutton RZ saddles come with the patented WiseAir ventilation system and are 4 lbs lighter than traditional showjumping and cross country saddles.
Phillip lives in Avondale, Pennsylvania with his wife, Evie, his stepdaughter, Lee Lee, and their twin daughters, Mary and Olivia. Apart from horses, Phillip has a keen interest in world affairs, reading, and sports, particularly golf and tennis when time permits. You may find out more about Phillip on his website
In 1995, Sam made the decision to leave his home in Australia and make a career for himself in the UK as an International Event Rider. He trained and worked as a back up rider for double Olympic gold medallist, Matt Ryan for three years where he had the opportunity to train and compete all levels of event horses.
After leaving Matt Ryan’s base, Sam established his own team of horses, and in 2004 Sam was reserve for the Australian team for the Athens Olympics. Since then Sam has ridden several horses to top 10 placings at Badminton, Burghley and Blenheim. This season Sam has up to 15 horse to event, ranging from Novices through to 3 and 4 star horses and, following a successful Badminton on Connigar Bay, and a win at Saumur CCI*** on Happy Times, Sam has earned a place on the Australian Elite Squad.
As well as still receiving help and advice from Matt Ryan at the world class competitions, Sam is currently trained by Olympic dressage rider, Jennie Loriston-Clarke and her daughter Lizzie Murray. For jumping, Sam is trained by International show jumper, Andy Austin. Sam and his wife, Lucy, run the eventing team from Hoplands Equestrian Centre in Hampshire.
1st Saumur CCI*** 2008
11th Burghley CCI**** 2007
12th British Open Championships, Gatcombe 2007
8th Burghley CCI**** 2006
9th Blenheim CCI*** 2006
15th Burghley CCI**** 2005
6th Badminton CCI**** 2004
Team Gold and Individual Silver Medallist – Asia/Pacific Championships 2003
Photo above is Sam Griffiths competing at Samur. Photograph by Dominique Gautier.
Allison Springer has continually finished in the top ten on the Leading Rider board for The United States Eventing Association. She has been named multiple times on multiple horses to the United States Equestrian Team’s High Performance Training List. A veteran four-star event rider, trainer, and coach, Allison aspires to represent the United States in Olympic and International competition.In 2011, Allison won the Dubarry award for “best dressed” at Rolex, to go along with her winnings of the Zeppa award for “best turned out” pair at Rolex back-to-back years in 2008 and 2009. In 2010, Allison was the reserve rider for the U.S. Three Day Eventing Team at the World Equestrian Games, a strong testament to her riding abilities. Allison actively competes across the country and internationally, trains and shows horses for clients, and teaches professional and amateur riders.
Allison’s horsemanship is paramount: her commitment to the well being of the horse yields a system that balances competitive edge with long-term stability in the sport. Allison’s commitment to the sport of Eventing is impressive as well. She is a founding member and sits on the Executive Board of the Professional Riders Organization – a group committed to serving the interests and concerns of professional Event riders competing at the highest levels of the sport (professionalriders.org). Allison is also a member of the USEA’s Board of Governors and is active in The Professional Horseman’s Council. She is a trendsetter in the Equine industry, being the first rider ever to wear a helmet with a chin strap in the Dressage phase of competition at the prestigious Rolex CCI4* event, standing up for the safety of herself and her peers.
Allison is a certified ICP Level 4 instructor, and coach of the Haitian National Three Day Event Team. As a graduate of Bowdoin College in 1997, Allison hopes to continue helping riders and horses of all levels achieve their goals. For more information about Allison, please visit www.allisonspringer.com.