Apr 24, 2021

In Memoriam: Ballynoe Castle RM (2000-2021)

By Leslie Mintz - USEA Staff
Ballynoe Castle RM with Buck Davidson and Kathleen Murray in his retirement ceremony in 2017. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

The great Ballynoe Castle RM passed away in his field on Friday, April 23, Buck Davidson reported on his Facebook page. “It’s with broken hearts that we share that today Reggie died peacefully in his field at our farm in Ocala. Now he can watch over everyone on cross-country tomorrow. He was a huge part of all of our lives for so many years and truly a horse of a lifetime.”

The Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ramiro B x Ballyvaldon Natalie) was 21 at the time of his passing. Owned by Carl and Cassandra Segal, “Reggie” had a storied eventing career and has sat on top of the USEA’s High Point Historical Horse Leaderboard for the last six years. He also earned the USEA Horse of the Year in 2011.

Reggie was bred in Ireland by Sylvester Cullen and imported in 2006 by the Segals for Davidson at the age of 6. Davidson and Reggie won their first event together in a Preliminary and would go on to compete at nearly 100 events together over the next decade. Their final event together would be at the 2016 USEA American Eventing Championships where they finished fourth.

Ballynoe Castle RM. USEA Archives Photo.

In his second season at Advanced, Reggie finished in second at the 2008 Jersey Fresh Three-Day Event CCI3* (now CCI4*-L) and the following year made his five-star debut with a 15th place finish at the 2009 Kentucky Three-Day Event. They followed it up with an 11th at the 2009 Burghley Horse Trials.

In 2010, Davidson and Reggie represented the U.S. at the World Equestrian Games and the pair finished in 42nd. They were named to the U.S. team again for the 2014 World Equestrian Games but retired on course.

Buck Davidson and Ballynoe Castle RM on their way to winning Richland.

At Badminton in 2011, they would finish in 21st place and pick up five top-two finishes at the Advanced and CIC3* (now CCI4*-S) level. They returned to Jersey Fresh in 2012 and finished fourth in the CCI3* (CCI4*-L). 2013 saw the pair earning a fourth-place finish at the Kentucky Three-Day Event and they would return in 2014 and better it with one spot for third-place. At the Jersey Fresh CCI3* (now CCI4*-L) in 2015 Davidson and Reggie took home the win and would go on to follow it up with wins at Millbrook and Richland.

2016 would be Davidson and Reggie’s final season together, but in 2017, Reggie’s longtime groom, Kathleen Murray, would take over the ride for three Training level events including a win at the Ocala Horse Trials.

USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

Reggie was officially retired in a moving ceremony at the 2017 Kentucky Three-Day Event.

The USEA sends its sincerest condolences to Davidson, the Segals, and all of Reggie's connections – he will be missed.

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