Event will celebrate Claire Davis' life

Jennifer Smith
Dozens of people gathered for a candlelight vigil at Shepherd of the Hills Church in Centennial on Dec. 20 to pray for Claire Davis, who died the following day from the gunshot wound she sustained on Dec. 13 at Arapahoe High School.
Staff report

Friends, family and the community will gather to remember Claire Davis in a place they once went to cheer her, on a day that signifies new beginnings.

"A Celebration of the Life of Claire Davis" is set for New Year's Day at 1 p.m. at the National Western Events Center, where the horse enthusiast competed during the 2013 National Western Stock Show. Davis was scheduled to ride there again in 2014.

The 17-year-old Arapahoe High School senior was shot in the head by a classmate in a school hallway on Dec. 13. She sustained severe head trauma and went into a coma, never to emerge. She died Dec. 21.

"Claire's passion and love of horses and competition embodied what we deeply value at the National Western Stock Show," said Paul Andrews, NWSS president.  "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."

This year, the popular hunter and jumper event known as "Gambler's Choice" will be renamed the "Claire Davis Memorial Gambler's Choice Horse Show." A moment of silence will be observed in her honor at many events during throughout the show's run, Jan. 11-26, and the complex will be swathed in a yellow ribbon for the duration.

"The National Western does a wonderful job of supporting young equestrians like Claire," said family representative 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."

There will not be a charge for attending the Jan. 1 event, but tickets are required. They'll be available starting at 10 a.m. Dec. 27 at www.nationalwestern.com, or at the box office, 4655 Humboldt St. in Denver, 80216.