Junior Hunter Under Saddle

Story & Photo by Laura Stevens | Paint Horse Journal | November 9, 2011

Alyse Roberts rode David Buckham to a world championship in Junior Hunter Under Saddle.

David Buckham scores a goal in Junior Hunter Under Saddle.

Good things come to those who wait, including world championships in Junior Hunter Under Saddle. After several injuries prevented David Buckham from hitting the show pen with trainer Alyse Roberts, 2011 was the team’s year to shine. The Paint Horse Journal spoke to Alyse about her buckle-winning ride aboard “Rodney.”

Q: Congratulations, Alyse! Tell us about your ride.

Alyse: Thank you, thank you so much. He was perfect. He just went around, went through traffic whenever I wanted him to. He was very good, it was a lot of fun.

Q: Were you nervous heading into the show pen?

Alyse: Yeah, a little bit. You’re always a little bit nervous, but as soon as we trotted in I was fine. It was a little crowded in there, every time I’d find a good spot, we’d get all covered up but it wasn’t bad.

Q: What is David Buckham’s strong suit in hunter under saddle?

Alyse: His trot. Definitely the trot is his strongest.

Q: How long have you had David Buckham in training?

Alyse: I’ve had him pretty much the whole year, since the end of January. He was hurt on and off this year, so he never got out. This is his first year showing and he’s done really good. He can be a handful sometimes because he likes to play.

Q: Do you think having an extra year to mature helped him?

Alyse: I would say so, yeah. Definitely mentally, it was good for him.

Q: Does David Buckham have a barn name?

Alyse: Rodney. Well, we call him Rodney or The Orca.

Q: What does the future look like for Rodney?

Alyse: Well, we want to pleasure drive with him for sure. That will probably be the next thing he learns this winter. After that I’m not really sure. We’ll just kind of go with it and see what else he does.

Q: We couldn’t help but notice the checkboard pattern on Rodney’s hind end. Is it a special good luck charm?

Alyse: We were sitting back at the stalls and came up with that idea. I don’t know, the racehorses do it a lot, and the show jumpers. So we thought it’d be fun to do something different. The shirt I’m wearing is also one I only wear on him. It’s his lucky shirt, the only shirt I’ve ever worn on him.

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World Champion Stats

Horse: David Buckham, 2007 bay overo gelding
Pedigree: All Time Fancy x Worth The Bucks [TB]
Exhibitor/Trainer: Alyse Roberts, Louisville, Colorado
Owner: Gemma Kaye-Hudson, Chandler, Arizona
Gene Ann Gage, Punta Gorda, Florida
Total Class Entries: 24
Class Sponsor: Montgomery Photographics

World Champion Prizes: Gist buckle, courtesy of APHA; embroidered jacket, courtesy of APHA and Tioga Territory; insulated carryall, courtesy of Paint Horse Journal; Purina's premium feed gift certificate, courtesy of Purina.