National Western renames horse show after slain teen

Jan 4, 2014
by WLJ

—Claire Davis’ love of equine competition, Stock Show recognized

As Colorado is again rocked by a school shooting, the National Western Stock Show (NWSS) is trying to highlight the dedication and love of competition of the young woman whose life was so tragically taken.

Claire Davis was shot on Dec. 13 when a classmate opened fire at their high school. Davis was rushed to the hospital and died a week later of her injuries. Since then, the local outpouring of sympathy and awareness efforts have been widespread.

The 2014 NWSS will be honoring Claire Davis by naming a horse show in her honor. The popular Hunter and Jumper event known as the Gambler’s Choice will be named the Claire Davis Memorial Gambler’s Choice Horse Show for the 2014 National Western.

Paul Andrews, President/CEO of the National Western Stock Show and Complex stated, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Davis family at this difficult time. Claire’s passion and love of horses and competition embodied what we deeply value at the National Western Stock Show. She was an excellent equestrian and a great example for all youth in the world with her positive attitude and leadership. We are honored to help celebrate her life through the numerous horse show events during our 2014 Show.”

Davis participated in several 2013 NWSS horse events, including the Children’s Hunter, the Hunt Seat Equitation (flat), the Hunt Seat Equitation Championship (flat), and the THIS National Children’s Medal, in which she received 7th Place. Davis competed with her horse Graphite Gran Grannus, a 1999 black, 17.2 hand Warmblood gelding.

Prior to her death, Davis had entered and was scheduled to compete in the 2014 NWSS Hunt Seat Equitation (flat), the Hunt Seat Equitation Championship (flat), the THIS National Children’s Medal, the ASPCA Horsemanship, and the Pessoa/ USEF National Hunter Seat Medal.

“The National Western does a wonderful job of supporting young equestrians, like Claire,” said Desiree Davis. “We’re so appreciative that they’ve agreed to host this special celebration of Claire’s life and for everything they’re doing to honor Claire’s memory.”

A memorial Celebration of Life was held at the National Western Events Center on Jan. 1 and was open to the public. A moment of silence will be observed for Davis prior to all ticketed horse show events in the Events Center at this year’s NWSS. In addition, the Events Center will don a large yellow ribbon in memory of Claire Davis throughout the Show, from Jan. 11-26.

Davis’ family, friends and community members have created the Arapahoe High School Community Fund honoring her. This charitable fund will broadly support Arapahoe High School and the surrounding community with support for mental health care, anti-bullying programs, and other community needs as determined by the fund’s advisors, Michael and Desiree Davis.

To contribute, please contact the Philanthropic Services Group at 303/300- 1790. — WLJ