Lexington, Ky. – May 17, 2018 – Thursday evening at the Kentucky Horse Park once again welcomed the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3*, the second event in the seven-part series, sponsored by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. The audience of the Rolex Stadium watched 61 starters over Guilherme Jorge’s (BRA) 16-effort course as an impressive 16 horse-and-rider combinations delivered clear rounds, but once again Andy Kocher (USA) and Kahlua could not be caught, and the pair captured their second consecutive win of the Kentucky Spring Classic.
Kocher and Top Line Sporthorse International, LLC’s Kahlua are on a roll after just claiming Wednesday’s highlight event, the $35,000 Welcome Speed CSI3*. The dynamic duo was second to enter the ring in the jump-off and they put forth a speedy, clear round in 42.72 seconds that would be closely challenged by the 12 remaining entries, but could never be caught. With the 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood in top form, Kocher now aims for Saturday’s $131,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI3*.
Last week’s Hagyard Classic winner, Darragh Kenny (IRL), claimed the second place finish, this time with Ann Thompson’s Balou Du Reventon. Kenny and the 12-year-old Oldenburg stallion challenged Kocher’s quick time, but just fell short as they completed a clear round in 43.31 seconds.
Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Volage Du Val Henry, the 9-year-old Selle Français mare owned by BTR LLC, finished in a close third with a time of 43.61 seconds and a clear round.
Chris Payne and Truman Take Grand Hunter Champion Title
Day two of hunter competition at the Kentucky Spring Classic continued earlier in the day with the Grand Hunter Champion award being presented to the rider that accumulated the most points throughout Wednesday and Thursday’s professional divisions. The Grand Hunter Champion award is presented by Visse Wedel. It was Chris Payne and Maypine Farm’s Truman that dominated in the High Performance Confirmation Hunters to claim the championship title.
Payne and Truman secured their championship award by placing first in all four over fences classes during Wednesday and Thursday. They continued to dominate in the under saddle class as well, placing first once again. The long time partners often found themselves in top placings in the High Confirmation Hunters during the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Florida. The pair will head to the Devon Horse Show.
Lexington, Ky. – May 16, 2018 – The second week of CSI3* competition at the Kentucky Horse Park kicked off during the Kentucky Spring Classic with the $35,000 1.45m Welcome Speed in the Rolex Stadium where 36 horse-and-rider combinations raced ahead of the rain, contesting Guilherme Jorge’s (BRA) 14-effort track. The speed class saw eleven clear rounds, but Andy Kocher (USA) was uncatchable as he raced to the victory aboard Christian Rogge of Top Line Sporthorse International, LLC’s Kahlua with over two seconds separating him at the top.
Kocher intends to jump the 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood in Saturday’s $131,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI3*, so his initial plan was to use Wednesday’s class as training, but with identical prize money to Thursday night’s $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3* and a careful mare, Kocher decided to go for it and his last-minute decision paid off. He flew through the timers with a quick, clear round in 61.11 seconds to capture and maintain the lead.
Mexico’s Santiago Lambre and his own 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, Doloris, chased Kocher’s time, but fell short, finishing a clear round in 63.68 seconds to settle for second place. Alejandro Karolyi (VEN) and Lincourt Gino, the 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Monica Carrera, captured the third place prize with a clear time of 64.07 seconds.
Chris Payne Places on Top with Ovo in Green Hunter Incentive Stake
Earlier in the day, in the Stonelea Ring at the Kentucky Horse Park, hunter competition began with 10 competitors vying for the Green Hunter Incentive Stake’s top prize. Horse-and-rider combinations competed in the 3’6” and 3’9” sections of the Green Hunters, with one round being designated toward the stake’s final results. It was Chris Payne and Ovo who claimed Wednesday’s top ride after putting in a near flawless round that would earn them a winning score of 88.
Ovo, an 8-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding, was purchased by Melissa Jacobs in November of 2017 from The Hunt, a European hunter auction organized by Chris Sorenson. Payne took over the reins during the start of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Florida. Payne and Ovo have had a successful partnership, finding themselves in top placings consistently throughout the WEF circuit.
Second place was captured by Havens Schatt and Diantendro with a score of 85. Tim Goguen and Just A Cobbler secured third place with a score of 83.
Andy Kocher (USA) with Navalo de Poheton. (FEI/Nick Souza)
It was a day of many “firsts” for Andy Kocher. Last to go in an eight-horse jump-off, Kocher (USA) and Navalo de Poheton claimed their first World Cup qualifier victory in the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Del Mar. As a result, Kocher has now pushed into lead position of the standings in the east coast sub league of the North American League.
Kocher and the 16-year-old Selle Francais gelding bested Eric Navet (FRA) and Catypso for the top prize. Chris Pratt (CAN) and Concorde finished in third.
“I looked up at the board and thought I was going to be second, and I would have been very happy to be second,” Kocher said. “Believe me, I would have been thrilled! But it was me this time! I was first! So, it was fun today.”
In a class where a tight time allowed proved problematic for riders in the first round, Kocher got inventive with his often-strong mount. He took three inside turns, two that no other rider attempted, in order to add strides down some of the lines and still make the time.
“There was a really good rider named Terry Rudd, and she had a horse named PS Gazpacho, and my dad always talks about it.” Kocher said. “Last week, he said, ‘I think you should ride Navalo de Poheton like she used to ride that horse. Go any possible inside turn around the course that you can, so you can keep the horse on a slow, short stride and kind of keep him in check.’ Today, I made two kinds of ridiculous inside turns and kind of shocked him, and it worked. So, I took that theory from my dad and a little history from Terry Rudd.”
Kocher, an east coast rider, has competed on both coasts through the first five North American League events and plans to make several other cross-country journeys in the coming weeks.
“We’re going to Calgary (CAN), Lexington (USA), Toronto (USA), Las Vegas (USA), and then I think we’ll come back for one of the weeks of Thermal (USA). I might hit that show in Mexico [at Guadalajara]. We’re going to do a little more out here [on the west coast].”
Andrew Kocher (USA) – 1st: “We had a really good time here [at Del Mar]. The jumps were nice, the footing was nice, and it was a really good course. Thanks to Longines and West Palms Events for having the show. I’m happy now, because I had a good day, but the whole show was nice.”
Eric Navet (USA) — 2nd: “When we have Andy behind, we’re never sure we can win. He’s such a fast rider, and he’s very confident. I knew I had a big chance to be beaten, and that’s what happened. He beat me by just a little bit. That was so close. That means that my horse is getting faster and improving in that area. He’s not very fast by nature. I’m very proud to have a time that close to Andy.”
Ocala, FL (February 27, 2017): The grand finale of another FEI week at HITS Post Time Farm ensued on Sunday beneath a beautiful, sunny sky. Forty-three competitors turned out for a shot at the top title, including seasoned Grand Prix vets and a new blend of young, talented equestrians.
After two Grand Prix wins and several top ribbon placings in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium during the Ocala Winter Circuit, Andy Kocher of Lake St. Louis, Missouri returned to the iconic stadium to once again snag a win, this time in the $50,000 KindredBio Grand Prix.
Kocher piloted Ciana, owned by Eagle Valley Partners, LLC, to the win in a nine-horse jump-off over the course designed by Manuel Esparza of Mexico. Five would produce clear rounds over the abbreviated course in contingency for the win.
Most of the top five would go back-to-back in the jump-off setting the top scores within the first half of the jump-off, aside from one speedy round as the second-to-last challenger.
First to tour the jump-off course fault-free was Jonathan McCrea riding Special Lux, owned by Candy Tribble. McCrea, a season Grand Prix vet and top-three finisher in both the 2016 AIG $1 Million Grand Prix and the 2016 Great American $1 Million Grand Prix, laid down a quick, clear round to set the tone for those who followed.
McCrea and Special Lux crossed the timers with all of the rails up in 36.32, which would ultimately give them the second-place prize.
Immediately following McCrea in the order were victors Kocher and Ciana. They took to the course no holds barred, chasing McCrea’s time and determined to put in a quicker clean effort. They did just that, stopping the clock in a blazing-fast 35.31, where the lead would remain.
Next in was Andrea Torres Guerreiro, a fiery, Columbian-equestrian with several top finishes in HITS Ocala’s featured Grand Prix. Torres Guerreiro proved herself a force to be reckoned with, powering through the course aboard her horse, Fifty Shades. They passed the timers in 37.44, a few seconds shy of the lead, but a round that would hold up for the rest of the class to ultimately give them fifth place.
Devin Ryan and Eddie Blue, owned by LL Show Jumpers, LLC, won last week’s $5,000 FEI Welcome Stake during the CSIO4* Nations Cup week at HITS Ocala. This week they scored a fourth-place prize in the $25,000 SmartPak FEI Grand Prix, and returned to once again claim fourth place in Sunday’s Grand Prix. Ryan and Eddie Blue stopped the clock in 36.88 with no faults for the white ribbon.
Another clear round would not be seen until the second-to-last horse in the order, Conthendrix, owned and ridden by Andre Thieme of Germany. Thieme and his mount laid down a valiant effort to catch Kocher’s leading time, leaving all of the rails up. Their time of 36.54 moved them ahead of Ryan and Torres Guerreiro and into the third-place slot.
Ocala, FL (December 19, 2016): As the curtain closed on the two-week HITS Holiday Series at HITS Post Time Farm, riders gathered to compete in the finale of the series, the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix.
The rider to beat would be Andy Kocher of Lake St. Louis, Missouri riding USA Today, owned by MKO Equestrian. Kocher won the $10,000 Open Prix the day prior to Sunday’s class, as well as the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix in the first week of the series, along with several other top five prizes.
“I really like the Holiday Series; it’s a great few weeks to practice and get the horses out there, and the prize money is great for even the smaller weeks,” said Kocher. “I thought Ken Krome did a good job all week in designing the courses. He put the jumps in the right spots and utilized the ring well to challenge some rails here and there, but he had a nice number clean in the jump-offs.”
Eight horses and riders would advance over the first round course, designed by Ken Krome of Westminster, Maryland, to vie for the win in the jump-off – where half of the lot would gain clear rounds again.
“This was my first show with USA Today; he’s a really great horse and is a seasoned competitor,” said Kocher. “He’s very experienced and has shown all over the world. I had just sold what was my best horse in the last year or so, so last week I was bummed out, but we brought out our new horses and had a great week, so I’ve changed my outlook for the upcoming winter.”
The first to compete over the shortened course was Christina Kelly of Aiken, South Carolina and The Kingdom, owned by Andrea O’Brien. They flew through the course, laying down a solid, clear round in 37.266 to set the tone for the remaining field. When the class was finished, they would take home the second-place prize.
Next to garner a clear round as the third trip in the jump-off were the victors, Kocher and USA Today. They shaved a full two seconds off of Kelly’s time to move up the leaderboard with a time of 35.070, where the lead would remain.
“The jump-off was fast, and not knowing this horse as well, I just sent him quick to really see what he had in him,” said Kocher. “After seeing Christina go, and she rode really well, I saw her horse had more jump ability then mine but I thought I could be quicker across the ground, so I went for it from the wire to the first jump.”
Ontario equestrian Kim Farlinger entered fifth in the jump-off order to give the crowd another clean round. She piloted Charming Force B, owned by Kim Farlinger Stables Ltd., through the timers in 38.563, a round that would settle them into third place.
Matthias Hollberg, riding out of Middleburg, Virginia, was the final rider in the jump-off and the last to snag a clear round. Hollberg rode Aletta, owned by Hollberg Equestrian, to the finish clocking in at 39.363, just a second shy of Farlinger for fourth place.
The final five rounded out with Margie Engle and Indigo, owned by Gladewinds Farm, Inc. Coming off a victory in Friday’s $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, the two were prepped for success, but a heart-breaking rail at the final fence of the jump-off settled them in fifth in 35.797.
$10,000 Open Prix at HITS Holiday Series
Andy Kocher and Coconut, owned by Eagle Valley Partners, LLC, have been inching their way up the placings over the two-week Holiday Series, and on Saturday, they pulled off the win. Kocher would also grab two more places in the ribbons, fifth and ninth.
“I really like this class and it’s nice if you have a young horse that’s just not quite ready for the Grand Prix,” said Kocher. “Coconut is an eight-year-old that I’ve been producing since he was about six; last year I wasn’t sure if he could be a Grand Prix horse but now I’m thinking he has the potential. He knows where his legs are and is just a very honest horse.”
In a four horse jump-off where all of the trips were clear, Kocher and Coconut sealed the victory as the quickest and most agile team by three full seconds.
First to contend the shortened course was hometown equestrian, Aaron Vale and Stakko, owned by Thinkslikeahorse. They put down a clean trip in 40.260 to set the tone for their peers, ultimately giving them the third-place prize.
Jennifer Jones of Marion, South Carolina followed Vale with Benedetto, owned by Andy Kocher. They shaved two seconds off Vale’s time, stopping the clock with all of the rails up in 38.083, eventually earning them second place.
The rounds kept getting quicker as Kocher entered the ring with Coconut. They zoomed through the course to finish in a lightning-fast 35.254.
The final contenders in the jump-off were Florida equestrian Hayley Waters and Uppie de Lis, owned by Chuck Waters. They mastered the course with all of the rails up, but were not quite fast enough to conquer the trips before them, clocking in at 42.856 for fourth.
Fifth place belonged to Kocher and Carlos, owned by Andrew Kocher & MCM Farm. They were foiled by one mere time fault in the first round. Kocher also finished in ninth place with E Pleasure, owned by Angelo Danza.
Mill Spring, NC – October 15, 2016 – Andy Kocher (USA) piloted Zantos II to the pair’s second victory this week, taking top honors in the competitive $130,000 Suncast® Grand Prix CSI 3* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Kocher and Zantos II dashed through the jump-off timers, finishing nearly two seconds faster than the rest of the field, stopping the clock in 35.836 seconds. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Main Road finished in second place, crossing through the finish in 37.982 seconds, while Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) piloted Toulago to third place with a time of 38.238 seconds.
Kocher and Zantos II, owned by MKO Equestrian LLC, finished a strong effort in the first round, contesting a technical track set by Michel Vaillancourt (CAN), which featured 51 entries. After making a quick move in the jump-off, the duo secured the win to best the eight-horse jump-off.
“I made a few mistakes on my first horse but this little guy is just so fast. I knew that we weren’t going to have time faults, but I wanted to not hit the in-fence of the combinations, especially if it was a vertical. He typically doesn’t have rails, but if he will tap one that’s where it will be,” commented Kocher. “We had a bit of trouble warming up to be honest because he was still so excited from how fast we went on Thursday. I had to get on and off of him a few times to get him to relax a bit.”
Zantos II has proven he’s a top contender for Kocher, who initially believed the gelding would be a good sales prospect when he arrived from England earlier this summer. After collecting a win in the $35,000 1.50m Suncast® Welcome FEI CSI 3* on Thursday, October 13, he felt confident that the pair could secure a fast finish in tonight’s class, but did not expect to earn another win. As Kocher has learned and adjusted to the ride, he believes the pair has found common ground when competing in the ring through the help of a few bit adjustments.
He laughed, “I was informed today by my owners after this class that he is no longer going to be a sales project. He’s just a little bullet and we’ve found a bridle that’s a happy medium for him.
“This win really means a lot to me. My dad is from here and he’s been in this area from the beginning. When I competed here last year, it was in some of the biggest classes I’ve ever done in my entire life. I came back this year aiming to qualify for FEI World Cup Finals and we’ve had an exciting season so far.”
The two horses Kocher had entered this week in international competition are both new additions to his string and program, as he is saving his ace ride, Uppie De Lis, for larger classes later this season. Kocher noted that the horses have helped to fine tune his own skills, as he cannot make as many mistakes as a rider to ensure they produce clear rounds.
“This is a big deal for both of them, but especially Zantos. They have to stretch to jump this high and I can’t make too many errors as a rider. I pushed myself this fall and the results are starting to pay off. I haven’t had all great shows, but this week has just been amazing.”
Looking ahead, Kocher has plans to now contest the indoor circuit in order to gain valuable qualifying points ahead of FEI World Cup Finals, before setting his sights on a strong winter campaign at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.
“I think we’re going to try and do a lot more FEI classes next year. That’s really going to be the focus. I want to get world-ranking points so that we can start getting into some bigger shows. I’d like to get high enough up the rankings that I could go to whatever shows we wanted. That’s the big goal for me right now,” he elaborated. “I have to thank the owners too, Bob and Robin Mulkey, we each own a third of him and they’ve been great owners for me.”
Kocher’s groom, Cesar Uribe, was awarded with the Groom’s Initiative Award presented by Tryon Equestrian Partners (TEP), in an effort to recognize the dedication and passion of the individuals who play an integral role in the success of top horse and rider combinations. Kocher graciously spoke of Uribe, who joined his team just over a year ago.
“It’s actually kind of a funny story. We had a few guys who didn’t work out for a couple of reasons and we brought Cesar in last year to help in the barn in New Jersey, but he had very little horse experience. He’s really taken over the role and stepped up to help manage the barn,” explained Kocher. “This is the first show that he’s been able to get to this year and I’m so happy that it was on a night where he could be recognized for his hard work. He’s one of the best guys I’ve ever had work for me.”
The Leading Lady Rider Award presented by realtor Meg Atkinson, was awarded to Laura Kraut (USA) for her consistent top finishes throughout the week in FEI competition. Kraut piloted two mounts to the jump-off in the $130,000 Suncast® Grand Prix FEI CSI 3*, finishing in seventh with Confu and eighth aboard Nouvelle. Kraut also earned a third place finish in the $35,000 1.50m Suncast® Welcome CSI 3* aboard Confu.
The 2016 Tryon Fall Series presented by Greenville-Spartanburg Airport District offers six weeks of hunter and jumper competition, including three weeks of internationally recognized FEI show jumping featuring two FEI CSI 3* weeks and an FEI CSI 5*. For more information on Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) and surrounding amenities, please visit www.tryon.com.
Mill Spring, NC – October 13, 2016 – Andy Kocher (USA) and Zantos II made easy work of the track in the $35,000 1.50m Suncast® Welcome CSI 3*, which hosted an impressive 60 entries, to take the win at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). The pair stopped the jump-off timers in 38.458 seconds ahead of Laura Kraut (USA) and Confu, who collected second place with a time of 40.001 seconds. Adam Prudent (FRA) and Victorio 5 earned third place after finishing the course in 42.349 seconds.
Kocher and Zantos II, owned by MKO Equestrian LLC, were trailblazers around the course set by Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) and were the first pair to secure a fault-free effort in the first round. The duo would later be joined by five combinations who also contested the demanding short course.
“I was really excited with this win. It was a tough class and when I walked I thought it would be one of those classes that would kind of show you where you were at, but it was a solid 1.50m,” said Kocher. “It was not soft in the slightest and was definitely built to the book.”
Kocher has added an element of consistency to his riding, which has been highlighted by several top finishes at major competitions in the United States and Canada this season. The class featured riders from around the world and included numerous Olympians, but Kocher took the pressure in stride, something he noted has improved since last season.
“Last year I would have been like frozen pizza out there with all of those guys. I had a great fall circuit here last year and we competed against some great riders too, but I just feel like now we’re a level up,” he explained. “I walked into the class today feeling like I had a chance to do really well and we did.”
Zantos II, a 2004 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Solitair x Mermus R), is a firecracker of a ride, whose determination and heart outsize his deceivingly petite frame. With Kocher piloting from the irons, the pair has collected top finishes at the American Gold Cup in North Salem, NY, Great Lakes Equestrian Festival in Traverse City, MI, and at Angelstone Tournaments in Rockwood, ON since the gelding was imported from England earlier this season.
“He’s really small. It almost feels like you’re riding a small pony but he is so brave. He thinks he’s 18 hands and is just incredibly careful. He isn’t a horse that naturally jumps 1.50m, but if you set him up right he will always be successful,” he explained.
The pair will now turn their focus to producing a strong finish in the $130,000 Suncast® Grand Prix CSI 3* on Saturday, October 15, before heading to contest the indoor season.
“This class was awesome and I got just about everything out of him. I love competing here and it was a great feeling to come out on top against such a strong field,” added Kocher.
The 2016 Tryon Fall Series presented by Greenville-Spartanburg Airport District offers six weeks of hunter and jumper competition, including three weeks of internationally recognized FEI show jumping featuring two FEI CSI 3* weeks and an FEI CSI 5*. For more information on Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) and surrounding amenities, please visit www.tryon.com.
The $50,777 Sidelines Grand Prix, presented by Beau Rivage Resort and Casino, closed out the 2016 Gulf Coast Winter Classic and the USHJA Dash for the Cash King, Andy Kocher of Ocala, Florida, galloped away with the win in the irons of Evalyn Grace, LLC’s Cantu 5.
Of the twenty-eight that tackled the course designed by Paul Jewel of Lambertville, New Jersey, only eight turned in clear first rounds advancing to the jump off.
Kocher rode Postage Stamp Farm’s Prof De La Roque as the first to go and posted a clear round in a time of 82.486 seconds, well within the 89 seconds time allowed.
Kocher then piloted his own Leconte to a clear first round in a time of 84.603 seconds. He now had two rides in the jump off!
Hester Equestrian, LLC’s Clueless P, ridden by Lauren Hester of Lexington, Kentucky, followed Kocher and posted a clear first round in a time of 79.972 seconds and added themselves to the jump off roster.
Charlie Jayne’s Cupid Shuffle, ridden by Michael Tokaruk of Germantown, Tennessee, added themselves to the jump off round after posting a clear first round in a time of 79.117 seconds.
Kocher returned to the grand prix field, this time in the irons of Cantu 5. The pair posted a clear first round in a time of 82.881 seconds, making it his third horse to qualify for the jump off.
Christopher Schroeder of Wellington, Florida and his own Catungee also turned in a clear first round effort in a time of 87.767 seconds, qualifying for the jump off round. Missy Nolan’s Specialized, ridden by Tim Maddrix of Leeds, Alabama, joined the jump off roster after posting a clear first round effort in a time of 87.386 seconds.
Schroeder and Marion Head’s Heliante were the last to go and clear they went in a time of 87.532 seconds and sat in the enviable last to go spot in the jump off order.
Paul Jewell set the jump off time allowed at 57 seconds. Kocher and Prof De La Roque were the first to go, but an unintentional dismount would keep the pair out of the winner’s circle and settling for eighth place overall.
Kocher and Leconte were next in the order but four faults in a time of 51.455 seconds would finish them in seventh place overall.
Hester and Clueless P followed Kocher, but four faults in a time of 50.064 seconds would see them finish in fourth place overall. Tokaruk and Cupid Shuffle followed Hester in the order. Four faults in a time of 50.154 seconds would have move them into the lead as the fastest four-faulter, but with four rides left to go, there was still a chance for someone to go clear.
And that’s exactly what happened when Kocher and Cantu 5 followed Tokaruk and turned in the first clear round in a time of 52.745, taking the lead and setting the new time to beat.
Schroeder and Catungee challenged Kocher’s time and although they went clear, their time of 56.569 seconds would put them in second place behind Kocher and Cantu 5.
Maddrix and Specialized followed Schroeder in the jump off order, but four faults in a time of 50.593 seconds would find them finish in sixth place overall. Schroeder and Heliante sat in the enviable last to go position and although they turned in the fastest jump off round in a time of 49.104 seconds, a heartbreak rail at the final fence would have them finish in third place, giving Kocher and Cantu 5 the win.
“This was a great event and congratulations to Andy Kocher and Cantu 5 on their win today,” commented Bob Bell, President of the Gulf and Classic Companies as well as Classic Publications. “This is the first Sidelines Grand Prix since Classic Publications has purchased the magazine and I thank all of those who competed today,” he said. “All of you are part of Sidelines history now,” he added.
Finishing in ninth place with one time fault was GK Performance Horses’ Diamant De Revel, ridden by Christopher Schroeder. Scott Lenkart and Fleur De Lis Farms’ Ziezo earned tenth place after posting the fastest four-fault round, and Sun Tzu, owned and ridden by Penny Brennan, placed eleventh. Brooke Kemper and Classified wrapped up the class with a twelfth place finish.
Shepherd Takes the $10,777 Legend Jumper Derby
Twenty-three horse and rider teams tackled the highly anticipated $10,777 Legend Jumper Derby on the world class Grand Prix field Saturday afternoon. The 1.30 m jumper classic, open to all horses not competing in the Grand Prix, had a time allowed of 120 seconds which only saw three go clean.
Christopher Schroeder of Wellington, Florida and Elizabeth Win’s Dubai B were the first to go and posted a clear round in a time of 101.824 seconds, setting the new time to beat. Newtown Jumping Jack, owned and ridden by Thomas Welsh of New York, New York, followed Schroeder and while they beat Schroeder’s time with their own 100.219 seconds, four jump faults would finish in eighth place overall.
Alex Turner’s Vanrock, ridden by Michael Tokaruk of Germantown, Tennessee, posted a clear round and set the new time to beat at 97.926 seconds, taking the lead.
Amanda Forte of Glenmoore, Pennsylvania and Cerulean Stables’ Rincoola Black Adder challenged Tokaruk and Vanrock’s time with their own 89.980 seconds. However, eight jump faults would find them out of the ribbons.
Trapp O’Neal of Magnolia, Texas and Carolyn Elsey’s Quilona Z followed Forte and posted an eight fault jump round in 97.953 seconds, which would see them finish in twelfth place overall.
Margaret Camp’s Charmeur, ridden by Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama, tackled the course, but their time of 98.555 seconds with four jump faults would see them finish in seventh place overall.
Eagle Valley Partners’ Coconut, ridden by Andy Kocher, followed Shepherd and turned in an eight fault round in a time of 93.638 seconds, which would find them finish in eleventh place overall.
Kocher returned with his own Red Lady, but with eight jump faults in a time of 89.002, the pair would have them finish in tenth place overall.
Rico S, owned and ridden by Sara Dees of Chatom, Alabama, followed Kocher and Red Lady and posted a four fault round in a time of 96.931 seconds and would finish in sixth place overall.
O’Neal followed Dees in the order, this time in the irons of TKO Partnershjp’s Camero, and turned in a four fault round in a time of 100.990 seconds. They finished in ninth place overall.
Riptide, owned by Christina Van Patten and ridden by Brooke Kemper of Culpeper, Virginia, followed O’Neal and turned in a four fault round in a time of 93.509 seconds and placed fourth overall.
Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama and Dejan Krunic’s Belle Clara DKS followed Riptide and turned in a lightning fast clear round in 91.474 seconds, taking the lead and moving Tokaruk and Vanrock into second place.
Sitting in the enviable last to go spot was Kocher and Showcase 81, LLC’s Mullentine Imperial. The pair posted a time of 93.751 seconds, but four jump faults would see them finish in fifth place overall.
“The $10,777 Jumper Derby is one of the most popular events at the Gulf Coast Winter Classic,” commented Bob Bell, President of the Gulf Coast Classic Company. “We are delighted that Merial and its product Legend sponsored this competition and appreciate their support,” he added.
The Week VI $10,000 Horseflight Open Welcome took place Friday and set the stage for big time show jumping action as the Gulf Coast Winter Classic headed into its final weekend for 2016 in Gulfport.
Twenty horse and rider teams tackled the course set on the world class grass grand prix field, considered the best in the United States by Olympic course designers.
The first round was set at 78 seconds and the second round at 47 seconds which saw only nine rides go double clean. Andy Kocher of Ocala, Florida and his own Leconte were the first to go in the class and turned in a clean first round in a time of 66.569 seconds. Their second clear round in a time of 38.991 seconds set the new time to beat.
Lauren Hester of Lexington, Kentucky and Hester Equestrian, LLC’s Wender followed Kocher with a clear first round in a time of 66.020 seconds. Challenging Kocher’s time, their second round was also clean and their time of 35.617 seconds set the new time to beat and pushed Kocher and Leconte into second position.
Kocher returned to the grand prix field, this time in the irons of Eagle Valley Partners’ C’Havinia, and posted a clear first round in a time of 69.364 seconds. Their clear second round in a time of 35.993 would have seen them finish in third place overall.
Christopher Schroeder of Wellington, Florida and Scott Head’s Carjo Z followed with double clear rounds in times of 69.503 seconds and 40.737 seconds which would not beat Hester’s time, and the pair would find themselves finishing in ninth place overall.
Kocher and Eagle Valley Partners’ Coconut followed Schroeder with double clear rounds in times of 69.55 and 36.677 seconds, respectively. They would finish in fourth place overall.
Hester returned to the arena with her second ride of three in the irons of Hester Equestrian, LLC’s Lorstakov. The pair posted double clear rounds in times of 68.668 seconds and 37.705 seconds, which would see them finish in sixth place overall.
Penny Brennan of Buhl, Alabama, winner of last week’s $10,000 Horseflight Open Welcome, was up next in the irons of Meco Equestrian, LLC’s Cord 11. Although the pair turned in a clear first round in a time of 70.551, four jump faults at the first fence in their second round in a time of 43.852 seconds would see them finish in eleventh place overall.
Schroeder returned to the grand prix field, this time in the irons of GA Performance Horses, LLC’s Diamant De Revel for the next clear first round in a time of 69.574 seconds. Their second round in a time of 38.116 seconds would see them finish in seventh place overall.
Kocher and his own Red Lady followed Schroeder with a clear first round in a time of 67.031 seconds. However, four jump faults and a time of 35.226 seconds in their second round would see them finish in tenth place overall.
Hester and Hester Equestrian LLC’s Clueless P followed Kocher and turned in a clear first round in a time of 67.639 seconds. Their clear second round in a time of 36.972 seconds would see them finish with a fifth place overall.
Kocher and his own Ora Del Te Di La San Giorgio were the last to go in the class and turned in a clear first round in a time of 72.644 seconds. They needed to beat Hester and Wender’s second round time of 35.617 seconds for the win, and by fractions of a second, they did! The pair posted a clear second round in a time of 35.483 seconds, taking the win and giving the second place to Hester and Wender.
Mid-seventies, sunny skies and bleachers packed with an audience was the backdrop to today’s $35,000 Apollo Jets Grand Prix that welcomed twenty-five horse and rider teams to the world renowned grass grand prix field on a course designed by Assistant Olympic Course Designer, Manuel Esparza of Mexico City, Mexico.
Andy Kocher of Ocala, Florida and Eagle Valley Partners’ Ciana, winners in Friday’s $10,000 Horseflight Open Welcome, returned to the winner’s circle today in the $35,000 Apollo Jets Grand Prix. Kocher also received a $5,000 gift card toward future Apollo Jets Charter Jet Travel, compliments of Brian Hillen, the Official Jet Charter Consultant for the Gulf Coast and Classic Companies.
The first round time allowed was set at 86 seconds which saw ten horse and rider teams advance to the jump off round.
“I loved Manuel’s course,” commented Kocher. “I thought it was going to be a course where a lot were going to be clear, but I think that was the goal. He wanted nine or ten. It was a beautiful day and a great crowd,” he continued. “It really turned out perfectly,” Kocher added.
“The most challenging part of the first round was the Horseflight jump to the Sidelines jump. Those two were toward the end of the course, the horses were getting a little tired, and going away from the gate you really needed to put your leg on. Then, they would be too strong for the Sidelines jump,” commented Kocher.
Kocher was the first to go in the jump off round in the irons of Postage Stamp Farm, LLC’s Prof De La Roque. Although their time of 45.725 seconds beat the time allowed of 62 seconds, they pulled a rail giving them four jump faults. “I was trying to be careful and not go with a lot of speed,” he said.
Amanda Comley of Waller, Texas in the irons of Joshua Tabor’s Cancum 2 followed Kocher in the jump off round. A rail at the second fence in a time allowed of 49.926 seconds would see them finish in tenth place overall.
Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, Alabama was next to go in the irons of Loretta Patterson’s Silverstone. They posted a clear round in a time of 49.996 and moved to second position behind Kocher.
Fleur de Lis Farms’ Ziezo, ridden by Scott Lenkart of Bartonville, Texas, followed up with a four fault jump off round in a time of 45.900 seconds which would put them in eighth place overall.
Kocher returned, this time in the irons of Ciana. “Since I was too careful the first time, I came at it with more speed this time,” commented Kocher. “There was this little girl, maybe 3 or 4 years old, at the end of the arena with her grandparents,” said Kocher. “I walked by before I started my jump off round and she was saying ‘1 2 3 takeoff! 1 2 3 takeoff!’ Her grandparents tried to hush her and I looked at her and said, ‘Okay, 1 2 3 takeoff!’ and I just went,” he said.
Take off they did as they turned in the fastest, fault free jump off round in a time of 44.991 seconds. “After I was awarded my blue ribbon, I rode over and gave it to her,” he said. “She looked really happy,” he added.
Nicki Wilcox of Parker, Colorado, in the irons of her own J.E.S. Quito, followed Kocher and Ciana. Although the pair went clear, their time of 51.671 seconds would have them finish in fifth place overall.
Honorway Farm’s Leander, ridden by Leann Kelly of Valatie, New York, turned in the next clear jump off round in a time of 45.956 seconds which moved them up to a third place finish.
Crowd favorite Lochinvar, owned and ridden by Matt Cyphert of Northlake, Texas, also turned in a clear round in a time of 45.725 seconds. Not quite fast enough to beat Kocher and Ciana, their time would find them finishing in second place overall.
Shepherd returned to the jump off round, this time in the irons of Patterson’s Triompf. A heartbreak rail at the final fence earned them four faults in a time of 43.688 seconds and a sixth place ribbon overall.
DS Holdings, LLC’s Capricello 2 and Frank Owens of Windcrest, Texas were last to go and also suffered a rail at the final fence in a time of 47.742 seconds which would see them finish in ninth place overall.
“Ciana is a great horse,” said Kocher. “She won the second week in Pensacola and the Welcome this week. She just did her first FEI class and did some of the ranking classes in the Nations Cup,” he added. “This course looked really nice to her,” he said.
“Ciana is nine years old and belongs to Karen Cobb. She owns most of the horses I have ridden over the past year and a half,” Kocher said. “I have about eight showing here right now and some down the road at friend’s farm. We just got four more in and we’ll have more next week,” he added. “I sold a boat load of horses here last year,” said Kocher. “I actually sold more than half a million in horses here last year and no doubt, we will be selling a more for the rest of the circuit,” he added.
“I am very pleased with how the Apollo Jets Grand Prix went today,” commented Brian Hillen of Apollo Jets. “The crowd was amazing, the riders and horses were extremely talented and the grand prix field was beautiful,” he said. “I think Bob and Janet did a super job ordering up the beautiful weather we had and I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to sponsor this world class event,” Hillen added.
The Gulf Coast Classic Company is a USHJA’s Members Choice Award winner, recognized for producing top quality show jumping events in the United States. For more information on Gulf Coast Classic Company and its exhibitor-friendly, top quality hunter jumper events, please visit them at www.gulfcoastclassiccompany.com.
All sponsorship, marketing and press inquiries should be directed to Lisa Engel, Sponsorship, Marketing and Public Relations Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.