Andy Kocher and Prof de la Roque closed out an exciting weekend of show jumping action at Caledon Equestrian Park on Sunday (May 28), topping a field of 29 for the red ribbon in the $20,000 Modified Grand Prix — presented by Northwest Lexus.
Lyda Bostock, Shelly Luc, Kadeen Moore and Rav Ranyawa of Northwest Lexus present Andy Kocher and Prof de la Roque with the winning rosette. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography
Kocher and Prof de la Roque, a 14-year-old Selle Français Gelding, had a flawless first round and joined seven other competitors in a jump-off with no shortage of excitement.
Kelly Soleau-Millar and her ride, Centre Ice, set the pace out of the gate with an impressive time of 42.01, and it was a race to the finish from there. Kocher and Prof de la Roque were last to ride in the jump-off, and managed to beat that by nearly five seconds with a time of 37.04 after a series of impressive rides in between.
“I jumped two horses today. The funny thing is I brought four horses to the show, one to practice and three for the Grand Prix,” said Kocher. “I struggled around for a few days and one jumped clear yesterday, and (Prof de la Roque) had one down yesterday — the first jump. So today, I thought with the first horse (Le Conte) I just wanted to jump around nice and if I had a pole, that’s fine, and (Prof de la Roque) I thought I had a good chance to win.”
“I watched the first two in the jump-off and thought to myself, ‘holy cow, Francois (Lamontagne) is flying’. He had his horse down to the ground but he was a little wide in a few spots. So, I thought ‘okay, if I nail it I could get him’. Then I saw Erynn (Ballard) go and thought she was going to win.”
“I saw Hugh Graham and Erynn Ballard (cut inside the water jump) … but once I got in the ring and got a good look at it on the horse, I could tell he was going to run out left at that one. So I just went faster and around it and just kept moving … The rest I just took him as fast as he could go and hoped he wouldn’t hit any jumps and he didn’t. The luck was on my side,” added Kocher, who will be returning to compete at Caledon Equestrian Park later this season.
Ballard placed second, followed by Lamontagne, Graham and Soleau-Millar as the top-five finishers.
Saturday (May 27) saw Ireland’s Daniel Coyle utterly dominate the $86,600 FEI Jumper Classic – presented by Case IH. Coyle rode to three of the top five spots, placing first, second and fifth, all on horses owned by Susan and Ariel Grange of Lothlorien Farm.
Daniel Coyle and Tienna Navigating the course of the $86,600 Jumper Classic Presented by
CASE IH. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography
He would win the class on Tienna, an eight-year-old Chestnut Mare just a few days shy of her ninth birthday. He rode Dillinger and Grafton to second and fifth, respectively. Jonathon Millar and Kocher rounded out the top five with Millar taking third place and Kocher claiming fourth.
The FEI Jumper Classic was Coyle’s second big win of the day, after the 22-year-old also won the $20,000 Under 25 Young Rider Development class – presented by BDF Equestrian a couple of hours before. He would also claim third place in that class, making it five top-five finishes on the afternoon.
Martha Younger and Alexandra Millar from BDF Equestrian along with Jacqueline Steffens were on hand to present Daniel and Somerset with the award for their win in the $20,000 Under 25 development class presented by BDF Equestrian. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography
In that class, Coyle piloted Lothlorien’s Somerset to victory, while riding Fortis Fortuna to third place — also owned by Susan and Ariel Grange.
Essex, Ontario’s Muhammad Itani and Tax Free claimed second place, while Rachel Schnurr and PRINCE GARBO, and Lexi Ray riding ACITA 4 rounded out the top five.
Mexican course designer Manuel Esparza oversaw the Grand Prix ring throughout the show, which kicked off May 23.
The action-packed Saturday also spilled over the Meilsoe Hunter Ring, which hosted the $2,000 LongRun Thoroughbred Hunter Challenge – Presented by Chiefswood Aftercare.
St. Catherines’ Robin Hannah-Carleton won both first and second place in the class, riding Prodigioso and Future Kings, respectively. Both horse are owned by Marilyn Lee Hannah. Shara Pavan was third on Highland Bay, while Doris Coupland and TARO FI ADREF placed fourth. Hyde Moffat and Red October were fifth.
The LongRun Thoroughbred Hunter Challenge is a season-long series, making four appearances at Caledon Equestrian Park throughout the 2017 show season. The series gives retired race horses a second chance at competition and a new lease on life in the equestrian ring.
Calgary-based Chris Jones served as course designer for the class, overseeing the Meilsoe Hunter Ring throughout the week.
“It was a pleasure to work with the Caledon Equestrian Show Park team. They always put on a great show for our sport,” said Jones.
Next up at the park will be Spring Into Dressage, running from June 2-4. The Trillium At Palgrave runs June 9-11. The A circuit makes its return for the Summer Classic from June 27 to July 2.
Caledon Equestrian will be hosting Canada 150 celebrations that weekend. Stay tuned at caledonequestrianpark.com for details.
$86,600 FEI Jumper Classic – Presented by CASE IH (May 27)
1. Tienna / Susan Grange/ Daniel Coyle
2. Dillinger / Susan & Ariel Grange / Daniel Coyle
3. Daveau / Millar Brooke Farm / Jonathon Millar
4. Navalo de Poheton / MKO EQuestrain LLC / Andy Kocher
5. Grafton / Susan & Ariel Grange / Daniel Coyle
$20,000 Under 25 Young Rider Development – Presented by BDF Equestrian (May 27)
1. Somerset / Susan Grange/ Daniel Coyle
2. Tax Free / Muhammad Itani/ Muhammad Itani
3. Fortis Fortuna / Susan & Ariel Grange / Daniel Coyle
4. PRINCE GARBO / Sara Tindale / Rachel Schnurr
5. ACITA 4 / Lexi Ray / Lexi Ray
LongRun $2,000 Thoroughbred Hunter Challenge – Presented by Chiefswood Aftercare (May 27)
1. Prodigioso / Marilyn Lee Hannah / Robin Hannah-Carlton
2. Future Kings / Marilyn Lee Hannah / Robin Hannah-Carlton
3. Highland Bay / Natalie Roth / Shara Pavan
4. TARO FI ADREF/ Doris Coupland / Doris Coupland
5. Red October / Deborah Weir/ Hyde Moffat
$20,000 Modified Grand Prix – Presented by Northwest Lexus (May 28)
1. Prof de la Roque / Postage Stamp Farm / Andy Kocher
2. EDISON P / Holter Leasing & Stal Hendrix Looking Back Farm /
3. HVigo Massuere / Francois Lamontagne / Francois Lamontagne
4. Knock Out 3E / Kingridge Stables / Hugh Graham
5. Centre Ice / Kelly Soleau-Millar / Kelly Soleau-Millar
Visit www.caledonequestrianpark.com for a full list of results and upcoming events.
Photograph may be used one time only in relation to the above news item.