My name is Bebe Davis, I am 16 years old, and I have been riding for 12 years. I have been a dressage rider since I can remember. I currently ride and train with Dr. Cesar Parra and Katie Riley in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey and Jupiter, Florida. After training with them for four winters, I have learned so much and I’m having a blast. I currently compete in the FEI Junior division with two of my horses, Rotano and Fievel Mouskewitz; hopefully I’ll start competing my other mount, Oliver Twist, later this year. At the beginning of 2013, I made the transition from FEI Pony division to FEI Junior division and it has been an absolutely amazing year.
At the end of 2012, I was faced with a difficult decision – whether to move up to juniors or stay in ponies. I had an extremely successful year in the FEI Pony division, bringing home a National Champion title as well as a Reserve Champion title from the Festival of Champions. I could not bear to part with my pint sized partners so I posed a question: could I compete in both the FEI Junior and the FEI Pony divisions? The answer, sadly, was no. Knowing this, I packed up the horses and ponies and went to Florida. The entire season went by and by the time it was over I was qualified for North American Junior Young Rider Championship (NAJYRC), Festival of Champions in the Juniors and Festival of Champions in the Ponies. As spring turned to summer, I realized I had made my decision; I would go to NAJYRC and wave goodbye to my FEI Pony career. The moment that I passed the jog at NAJYRC I was not able to compete at Festival of Champions with the ponies.
NAJYRC helped me grow in so many ways and I’m happy I decided to attend. Although it was my first year, I came away with a bronze medal in the FEI Junior Kür on my horse Rotano. The rest of the summer passed very quickly and before I knew it I was on my way to my final competition as a pony rider, Dressage at Devon CDN. As I did my final centerline on a beautiful Sunday, I felt tears well up in my eyes. This was it; I would never compete in this division again. It was one of those moments when time stops for a bit and you reflect on all of the good and bad times. In that moment, I knew I had made the right decision and it was the perfect ending of some of the best years of my life.
The moral of this story for me, is that when you make the right choice, no matter how hard it is, you will be at peace with yourself in the end. Up until that last centerline, I was still second guessing my decision, but in that moment I realized there was nothing I could do to change the past. I was moving forward and happy to be living in the now.