Tag Archives: Karl Cook

Cook Skyrockets to Top of NAL Leaderboard with Victory in Sacramento

Karl Cook and Caillou. (FEI/JXB Photography)

Consistency paid off for Karl Cook (USA) with a win in the CSI3*-W $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Sacramento (USA). Riding the 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding Caillou, he bested a six-horse jump-off to record his first World Cup victory of the season.

Last to go, Cook positively flew through the timers of Marina Azevedo’s (BRA) shortened course, finishing in 36.75 seconds. Conor Swail (IRL) finished second aboard the talented 9-year-old Koss van Heiste with a time of 37.35 seconds, while Guy Thomas (NZL), first to contest the jump-off, was third aboard Jonkheer Z; that duo’s final time was 38.95 seconds.

“It’s always fun going last. You know what you have to do. It gives you a better feeling when you ride, because you know that whatever you do, you stay there.” — Karl Cook (USA)

Just two combinations were able to advance to the jump-off in the first half of the class, but four of the final six combinations produced a clear first round, including Cook, whose confidence was made evident by the relative degree of ease with which he navigated the challenging indoor track. In the jump-off, he used his advantageous position in the lineup to his advantage and planned a wider, yet efficient turn to the last fence that set him up for a strong gallop to the finish.

“Conor went inside [to the last fence] and did [one fewer stride], which I very well could have done,” Cook said, “but I saw how the turn after was, so I said I’d go around and do [one extra stride] and turn after quicker.”

After jumping well in Vancouver and finishing second in New York, Cook firmly cemented himself atop the west coast sub league standings of the North American League with 37 points. Zazou Hoffman (USA) sits second with 19 points, two points ahead of Kelli Cruciotti (USA) with 17 points.

“I’m really happy, because I feel like [Caillou] has been consistently there,” Cook said. “That’s what makes me the proudest.”

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Karl Cook and Caillou 24 Can’t Be Caught in $36,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3*

Photo: Karl Cook and Caillou 24.

Lexington, Ky. – May 16, 2019 – Thursday evening at the Kentucky Spring Classic was highlighted by the $36,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3*, the second event in the seven-part series, sponsored by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. Hosted in the Rolex Stadium on a picturesque evening, 62 competitors tried their hand in an attempt to capture the win. Ultimately it was Karl Cook (USA) and Caillou 24 who walked away with the lion’s share of prize money after producing the quickest clean and clear jump-off.

Tim Goguen and Style Steal Grand Hunter Champion Title with Perfect Scores

Hunter competition continued on Thursday with the awarding of the Grand Hunter Champion title. Presented by Visse Wedell, the title is awarded to the horse-and-rider combination that accumulated the most points throughout the professional divisions across Wednesday and Thursday. This week’s award was presented to Tim Goguen and Take the High Road LLC’s Style. With a clean sweep of the Green Conformation Hunters, Goguen earned the division championship before ultimately claiming the grand champion title and a perfect score.

Kentucky Spring Classic Features Classic Champions Developing Jumper Tours for 5, 6, and 7-Year-Old Horses

New this year to the Kentucky Horse Park, the Classic Champions Developing Jumper Tour kicked off its second show of the eight-part series Wednesday at the Kentucky Spring Classic with three divisions offered for 5, 6, and 7-year-old horses. An impressive group of up-and-coming young horses tackled the 5-year-old division in the Walnut Ring on Thursday, with ten combinations earning blue-ribbon rides for their clear efforts, but William Hickey emerged with the fastest time of 67.628 seconds aboard North Star’s Jeronimo.

“This is the most exciting opportunity that we’ve had yet,” said Cynthia Hampton, founder and president of Classic Champions, Inc. “We have the whole series followed by a championship, which is really optimal for showing the development of the young horses. The championship will take place here at the Kentucky [Horse Park] in September.”

Classic Champions, Inc. brings European principles to course design for young jumpers, and helps young horses to become the future stars they can be, offering competition opportunities that are both sporting and educational. With specific classes for 5, 6, and 7-year-old horses, the Classic Champions Developing Jumper Tour features adapted heights, type of fences, lines and turns, as well as experienced, specifically trained course designers at top-notch show venues.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com

Karl Cook and Tembla Take Top Honors in $135,600 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Langley

Karl Cook and Tembla. (FEI/Rebecca Berry)

Langley, British Columbia, (CAN), 29 August 2016 – The USA’s Karl Cook jumped Tembla to a thrilling win in the $135,600 Longines FEI World Cup™ Qualifier, presented by Noel Asmar, at Langley CSI3*-W. Thunderbird Show Park hosted the first leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League West Coast sub-league on Sunday, August 28.

“As Tembla gets older, she gets better and better,” Cook said about his growing partnership with the 12-year-old Zangersheide mare (Tangelo van de Zuuthoeve x Cavalier). “She gets more consistent and always tries. When I ask big things of her in the jump off, she goes ahead and does it.”

Cook bested a six-horse jump off to take the show’s highlight prize and valuable World Cup™ qualifying points, with not only the fastest time of 42.95 seconds but also without recording a single fault.

“When you’re trying to qualify for the FEI World Cup™ Final and you start with a win, it obviously builds your confidence a great deal,” Cook added. “It also takes a lot of pressure off because you won’t have to work as hard, or come down to the wire as much, to qualify. It’s just such a confidence booster to do so well your first time out.”

Despite slightly rainy conditions, Sunday’s Qualifier, set by Ireland’s Alan Wade, saw one of the venue’s largest crowds gather to see the sport’s best. “Joseph Rycroft (CAN) was my partner all week [and] we really tried to make a fair track and let the athletes and horses show their skills and their abilities – and their bravery. We had good sport this afternoon and that’s all anyone can ask for,” said Wade.

A similar sentiment was shared by Cook, following Sunday’s success that validated the efforts of developing an opinionated horse. “Tembla was in San Diego, [Calif.], when we bought her in 2013,” he said. “She was a little bit difficult and wanted to do it the way she wanted to do it. Some days are better than others. Like all mares, she can be great or not wanting to play so much. It took a little bit to get it to where there’s a give and a take, but we’ve been doing grand prix classes for over a year and a half now, and she just is getting better and better.”

Unpredictable sport

The first of the class’s 26 starters to enter the ring – and the first to ride clear – was the local favorite, Brian Morton (CAN), riding the 11-year-old gelding, Atlantis T (Padinus x Guidam). Following in the fault-free footsteps of Morton, ten riders later, was fellow Canadian Brenda Riddell and Dutch Amouretta (Dutch Capitol x Wellington). The third clear of the afternoon came from the Audrey Coulter (USA) and Alex (Arpeggio x Mon Cheri).

“I thought it was a well set course with a couple of really tall verticals,” said Coulter of the first-round track. Last season, the American rider qualified for the FEI World Cup™ Final through the Western European League, but this season, she’ll primarily ride in North America with the goal of earning a bid through the East Coast sub-league. “All my horses are back in States, and Harrie [Smolders] and Axel [Verlooy] will trade off training me at shows. Last year, qualifying for the Final was a big goal for me and this year, it is again.”

Notable, yet heartbreaking, performances came early in the order from some of the younger riders in the field. Jennifer Gates (USA) and Jenna Thompson (CAN) left the rails standing in the first round, but both finished with a single time fault, ending their efforts to collect meaningful points.

Although with six seemingly smooth clear rounds, Wade’s 13-obstacle track, in 84 seconds time allowed, proved a challenging task as many of the favorites fell victim to three difficult fences, in particular. When asked his thoughts on the low number of clears in the first round, Wade said, “I don’t ever play a numbers game. I felt that there were problems all along the track; people coped and some didn’t.”

One of the course’s mandated 1.60m fences, the Noel Asmar vertical at fence no. 8, kept frontrunners Andrew Ramsay (USA) and Nayel Nassar (EGY) from jump-off contention. A late, balancing check from a sweeping, rollback turn to jump no. 11 caused another upset for veteran rider Eric Navet (FRA). But it was the penultimate obstacle, a double combination, that claimed the most faults from riders like Rich Fellers (USA) and Patricio Pasquel (MEX).

The winning strategy

The three additional riders that advanced to the jump off rode in the final third of the starting order: Nikolaj Hein Ruus (DEN), Karl Cook (USA), and Jack Towell (USA).

Cook consulted his longtime trainer, Eric Navet, to build a strategy for the class that emphasized the fences to ride carefully and the correct rhythm to hold. “Eric, after the first round, said to watch out for the pink, Asmar vertical at fence 8, rolling back away from the gate,” Cook said. “He said to not try to save time going to that vertical. Also, [he gave] the same advice to fence 11, the vertical right before the double combination, which he had down.

“Ride a course where you don’t have to interfere. Get your canter before the first fence and continue it along, is what Eric always says. Instead of fighting, the goal is to just flow.”

Brian Morton was first to ride for the jump off, posting the time to beat of 45.77 seconds. “The strategy for me there was really just to focus on what was right for me and [my] horse. Make sure I didn’t have a fence down and go fast enough to put a little pressure on everybody else,” he said.

The next two riders, Riddell and Coulter, both recorded faults in the final round so the thrilling conclusion came from the efforts of the remaining three riders. With an understanding and a feel for the course, all three attempted much more daring angles to an oxer that came mid-course.

Hein Ruus swiftly claimed the first-place position after crossing the timers at 44.40 seconds with zero faults, aboard Big Red, a horse that more recently partnered with Richard Spooner (USA) in a bid to qualify for the Rio Olympics.

“Spooner had [Big Red] for four months then my boss took him back to show in the high amateurs at Spruce,” Hein Ruus said. “After Spruce, he said, ‘Nik, I’d like you to ride the horse again.’ The horse has got more experience now because last year, when I took him to his first grand prix, ever, he was [only] at the 1.35-1.40m level. Now he can handle his power a little better. He’s amazing. I’ve been a professional for 24 years, and I haven’t dealt with a horse like this with a mind like this. He knows how to handle himself; he’s so confident so I have to be on the spot myself.”

But immediately after Hein Ruus upset Morton, Cook clocked the fastest round of the day at 42.95 seconds. Then, last to ride, Towell nearly caught Cook’s time but an unlucky rail meant that he would have to settle for fourth.

“Where [Eric and I] thought we could make up some time was where Nikolaj added to the oxer at the fourth fence,” said Cook. “We thought if I did one less stride to the second fence then I’d set up a big canter that continued throughout the course – to lope along and keep going.”

“In the jump off, I started out at a good pace from the first fence to the second,” said Hein Ruus. “I planned to do ten strides with a good turn to [the third fence], the Asmar vertical. That’s where I lost [the class]. I could have been on a time of Karl if I left out a stride to the oxer then left out a stride to the wall. But I’m still happy. ‘That’s where,’ I told Karl, ‘you could get me there.’”

Planning ahead

Pleased with his win, Cook expressed his hopes to qualify for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final, which will to take place in Omaha, Nebraska in March 2017: “I’ll be doing the FEI World Cup™ events on the West Coast. I’ll do Sacramento, Del Mar, and Las Vegas. I hope to do Mexico again. We had a great time in Mexico when we went [last season]. And I’ll do Thermal, as well. Hopefully, I’ll qualify for Omaha.”

“I think the main thing that Longines has brought to the sport in North America as a sponsor is unity,” Cook added. “Shows here have always been based on the show management, but there was no unity from show to show. Now, there’s strong leadership from Longines, which creates unity for the athletes and for the spectators. Without unity, the sport will never grow. The brand makes it more of an event and it makes the sport more accessible to spectators.”

The West Coast sub-league season opener also saw a strong presence of Mexican riders, presumably with a shared focus of qualifying for the Final.

“Mexican sport is on the way up and the riders are very good,” said Hein Ruus, who has worked for the Pasquel family in Mexico for the past four years. “They’re a lot more competitive and ready for big sport because they’re trying to bring big sport to Mexico.”

Hein Ruus has yet to make concrete plans for the FEI World Cup™ season, although he has confirmed that he and his students, Patricio and Francisco Pasquel, will compete in the FEI World Cup™ Qualifier in Mexico in January.

Full results: http://www.longinestiming.com/#!/show-jumping/2016/1222/html/en/longinestiming/resultlist_440.html

About Thunderbird

Thunderbird Show Park is one of North America’s premier equestrian facilities. Situated on 85 acres, it is located just 35 minutes from Vancouver, in beautiful Langley, British Columbia. It is the largest venue of its kind on Canada’s West Coast, and it features seven competition arenas with award-winning footing.

“The first priority is footing, next is great sponsors, like Longines and Noel Asmar, and the final touch is a welcoming attitude,” said Jane Tidball, co-owner of Thunderbird and the President and Tournament Director.

Live FEI TV Action

For those unable to attend the NAL events, tune in to live action of all fourteen of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League qualifiers on FEI TV, the FEI’s official video platform: www.feitv.org. The additional FEI classes at these competitions will be available to view via livestream on the FEI’s YouTube channel. Visit www.youtube.com/user/feichannel to view the full details on the livestream.

FEI Social Media

The FEI will post news, images, and videos for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League throughout the season on YouTube www.youtube.com/feichannel, Facebook www.facebook.com/the.fei, Twitter www.twitter.com/FEI_Global, and on Instagram www.instagram.com/fei_global. Be sure to follow along with all the action on the platforms and via the official hashtag, #FEIWorldCupNAL.

Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League

A total of 14 athletes from the new North American League will qualify for the prestigious Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final.

The top seven athletes from the East Coast US, top three from West Coast US and the two best-placed athletes from Canada and Mexico will qualify for the Final, alongside winners of the 13 other leagues from around the world.

The North American League boasts a minimum of US $2.4 million prize money across the series, and offers the best Jumping athletes from North America and around the world the chance to qualify for the jackpot of more than US $1.4 million (€1.3 million) on offer annually at the Final.

The new league was launched by Beezie Madden, the most decorated US female equestrian athlete of all time, American Gold Cup winner and FEI Solidarity Ambassador Jessica Springsteen, and Hannah Selleck, team and individual gold medalist at young rider level and one of the sport’s up-and-coming stars. Full launch release here: https://goo.gl/kCIsyW

Share images, video, experiences using hashtag #FEIWorldCupNAL

By Esther Hahn

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Erica Quinn Captures First Career International Hunter Derby Win with Need I Say at TIEC

Erica Quinn and Need I Say. Photos ©FlyingHorsePhotography.

Karl Cook Bests the Competition aboard Caillou 24 in $35,000 1.45m Horseware Ireland Speed Stake CSI 5*

Mill Spring, NC – June 10, 2016 – Erica Quinn of Mainesville, OH and Need I Say captured their first career derby win together, topping the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby presented by Mirimichi Green at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Quinn and Need I Say received a final two round score of 369 to take the win. Kelley Farmer of Wellington, FL guided Point Being and Baltimore to second and third place, respectively, earning total scores of 368 and 359 from the judging panel. Competition at TIEC continues Saturday with the highly anticipated $380,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 5* for the Governor’s Cup beginning at 8:00 p.m. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. with free admission and free parking for all attendees.

Quinn, who recently took over the ride on the 2008 Warmblood gelding owned by Kelley Farmer, was elated with the performance of Need I Say under the lights in the George H. Morris Arena. The pair completed an effortless and athletic handy round, which ultimately pushed them to the top of the leaderboard. Andy Christison built the course, which showcased a number of airy oxers and difficult combinations, proving to be a tough test for riders throughout the evening.

“He’s just an amazing animal. I can’t say enough nice things about that horse. In the first round, I bobbled going into the two stride, which I was mad at myself for, but then I came back in the second round and was confident. He’s just such a good handy horse. I feel like I can do anything on him,” she explained.

Need I Say has an attitude and athleticism that allows him to excel in the handy round, which is one of his most notable strengths. The pair received 10 handy points from each of the judging panels to boost their score after performing an effortless, but bold second round.

“When I turn, it doesn’t matter if it’s one stride or three strides, he’s always going to leave the ground. He gives you such a nice feeling over the fences,” she added. “I’m new to doing the derbies and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous, but I also think that I just need to keep doing them and get used to the atmosphere.”

Originally, Friday’s class was not on Quinn’s planned competition schedule, as she had arranged to stay in Kentucky, but at the last minute decided to bring Need I Say with the other group of horses traveling to the TIEC venue with Kelley Farmer and Larry Glefke.

“Kelley told me to come down here to do the $50,000 instead of staying in Kentucky and now I’m sure glad I did,” she smiled. “It really worked out for us and I can’t say enough nice things about Larry and Kelley. This is an amazing opportunity for me and I couldn’t thank them enough.”

Farmer had the initial ride on the gelding after he arrived stateside and collected two derby wins right off the bat in Pensacola, FL, establishing Need I Say as a strong derby contender. Quinn took over the ride this spring, and has been competing the gelding since, learning from Farmer and her winning ways.

“Kelley has quite a few horses in her derby string and was nice enough to let me ride this horse. He finished very well here a few weeks ago too. This is our second derby together and the other was a few weeks ago here where we finished in third,” explained Quinn. “I’m just so thankful that she gave me the ride.”

Quinn has worked at Lane Change Farm with Glefke and Farmer for nearly two years and focuses on many of the Pre-Green horses in the barn, but is beginning to turn more of her attention to Need I Say.

“Erica has worked with us for a while and has done a very good job. She’s worked for this chance and she’s definitely paid her dues. Everyone needs a chance and she’s earned this,” said Farmer. “I have plenty of horses in my string and I wanted her to have a horse that had no tricks and that was capable of competing with mine. In the handy rounds, when we tell her, you know, you have to go inside, she has a horse that can do it.”

Farmer found Need I Say on a trip to Europe and his talent and scope drove her to cancel an original flight home and travel across Germany to try the horse for herself. She explained, “One of our agents over there showed him to me and I bought him on the same trip that I bought It’s Me. It turned out to be very worthwhile,” she laughed.

“He had done quite a bit in Europe and had won as a young horse. He was cut late and I got on him not too long after he was gelded. I watched him jump some pretty big courses and when I sat on him I thought that there is no way they can build anything on a Saturday night at Derby Finals that will phase this horse.”

“There is no horse that can do things like he does in the handy. It’s really unbelievable. He is the most beautiful and rideable horse. Anywhere you put him he’s going to go. I knew that he would walk into any derby ring and win,” she added.

Farmer also commented on her second and third place rides, noting that both horses performed well, while Baltimore’s third place finish makes him the fastest earning hunter to reach $100,000 in prize money.

“Baltimore was a really good boy and I made a little bit of a mistake, which pushed down our score and it was my fault, but Point Being was great. He still can get a little bit green, especially at night,” she elaborated. “He wants to try so hard and he’s such a careful horse. He’s an overachiever and he gets a little overwhelmed at night, but that’s just him and that’s what I love. He just has an intensity that you don’t typically feel and is what makes him so special.”

Karl Cook Bests the Competition aboard Caillou 24 to Secure a Win in the $35,000 1.45m Horseware Ireland Speed Stake CSI 5*

Karl Cook (USA) quickly crossed through the timers to secure victory in the $35,000 1.45m Horseware Ireland Speed Stake CSI 5* aboard Caillou 24 at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Cook rose to the top of the leaderboard with an efficient time of 65.10 seconds to secure the win. Richie Moloney (IRL) trailed closely behind with a time of 65.80 seconds with his mount Slieveanorra, while Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Cyklon 1083 rounded out the top three with a time of 67.31 seconds.

Karl Cook and Caillou 24
Karl Cook and Caillou 24

Cook and Caillou 24 tackled Alan Wade’s (IRL) track with a smooth and quick effort, as the pair used the opportunity to gain valuable experience at the 1.45m height. Wade has built competitive and educational courses throughout the week and Cook noted that the design was very suitable for the strengths of his horse.

He elaborated, “The way Alan [Wade] set the course made for the riders to take exciting turns instead of having to protect the front rails. It allowed us to flow down the lines and it was very nice to ride.”

Caillou 24 is a talented and young mount for Cook, as the pair has just started to regularly compete at the FEI level together. Caillou 24, a 2007 Holsteiner gelding (Casall x Corrado I), previously campaigned to the FEI CSI 3* level in Europe before Cook took over the ride early in 2014. Taking his time training the gelding at home, the pair have built confidence and a stronger relationship over the past year. After concluding a successful winter campaign, Cook felt it was time to gain more experience in a major FEI competition atmosphere.

“We have been protecting him a little bit and trying to teach him how to jump the way we want. But, at the same time, they also need to learn how to go fast and the only way to do that is by competing,” he explained. “He’s very good because he turns extraordinarily tight yet has a huge stride to leave out in a lot of the lines too. Normally you never get those two together in a single horse, so it’s a great feeling to have in the ring.”

Cook is based year-round out of Woodside, CA and spoke about what motivated his team to travel to TIEC for the venue’s first ever FEI CSI 5* week. Eric Navet (FRA), who Cook trains with year-round, also made the trip east with several horses.

“I had heard rumors about the place and wanted to see it for myself. My first impression of the venue was just wow, to be honest,” said Cook. “It has taken an incredible and obvious amount of foresight and investment to bring this facility to where it is. The thing is, this area is closer than people on the back home would think. You’re only five hours from Kentucky and it’s in a really great location for travel.”

“You also have to acknowledge the huge amount of prize money available at this venue. It is modern jumping. You are jumping on consistently good footing and the jumps are great,” he added. “Everything is really convenient for everyone and that’s what is important. It’s not just rings and barns; it’s so much more. Nothing about this venue is bad for our sport; it’s only going to do great things for it.”

Cook and his team will head back to California once the week concludes on Sunday, but will make arrangements to return to the venue in 2017 for next season’s competitive spring series. Once his string is back and settled, the team will look to finish a very strong summer and fall season, which will include several FEI World Cup Qualifiers, which will now be hosted on the West Coast.

“We are going to head home and work with the horses because you can’t really train them at the show the best you would like to.” Cook commented. “We might come back to do Central Park and possibly loop that in with the Million in Saugerties. I felt like we needed to come out here and feel it out. We will be back for the Spring Series here next season for sure,” he added.

For more information on the events and activities at TIEC, please visit www.tryon.com.