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 France’s Eric Navet and Catypso for the top prize in the signature event of the Del Mar International World Cup ™ competition – the third of seven in the North American Sub League leading up to the Finals in Paris in 2018.
Canada’s Chris Pratt finished in third place aboard Concorde with a clear round in a very tight jump-off – Kocher stopped the clock at 37.45 seconds, Navet at 37.56 seconds and Pratt at 37.75 seconds.
Pratt and Concorde, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, got in some show miles in Europe this summer, which , it appears, are paying off.
Of his victory Kocher said, “I looked up at the board and thought I was going to be second, and I would have been very happy to be second. 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 kind 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 [CAN], 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].”
The North American League continues with two events on Saturday October 28, 2017 in Calgary on the west coast and Washington, D.C. on the east coast.
Full results here.
Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League – West sub league standings:
1 Jamie Barge (US) 35
2 Mandy Porter (USA) 29
3 Jenn Serek (CAN) 29
4 Jenni McAllister (USA) 27
5 Richard Spooner (USA) 27
6 Sayre Happy (USA) 26
7 Eric Navet (FRA) 20
8 Christopher Surbey (CAN) 17
Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League -East sub league standings:
1 Andrew Kocher (USA) 31
2 Alison Robitaille (USA) 29
3 Conor Swail (IRL) 20
4 Devin Ryan (USA) 20
5 Isabelle Lapierre (CAN) 20
6 Keean White (CAN) 20
7 Jack Towell (USA) 19
8 McLain Ward (USA) 17