Langely, B.C. – Aug. 23, 2019 – This week, the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League officially gets back underway for the 2019/2020 season at Thunderbird Show Park. Riders are looking to start at the top of the leaderboard on the West and East Coast Sub-Leagues to gain their spot in the finals, to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, April 15-19, 2020. On Friday, it was the $75,000 Volvo Cup CSI4*-W that took center stage as the highlight competition of the day. As the last to go, it was Andy Kocher (USA) and Squirt Gun who ran away with the victory.
Attracting 66 combinations to the Fort Grand Prix Ring, the long start list challenged course designer Peter Holmes’ (CAN) 14-obstacle course, set at 1.50m in height. The one-round speed class produced 25 clear rounds, with faults occurring at a tricky combination set in the middle of the ring and an airy vertical near the end of the course.
The first 52 horse-and-rider combinations were all aiming for a spot in Sunday’s feature grand prix, with the last portion of the class coming back on their second mount. The pathfinders for the class were Lindsey Paton-Garner (CAN) and Capilano, who found the early clear round as the second combination to enter the ring.
The lead changed hands many times as riders continued to push the boundaries of how fast they could go while leaving the jumps up. Near the middle of the class, Kocher went clear on his first mount, Fashion V, in a time of 61.41 seconds. That would eventually land him in third place as he was quickly outrun by Ashlee Bond (ISR) and Little Valley Farm’s Donatello 141, who cleared the timers in 60.53 seconds.
Bond’s blazing time held up all the way until the end of the class when Kocher and Squirt Gun, an entry of Eye Candy Jumpers, galloped to a time of 60.46 seconds, beating Bond by just a fraction and taking the win.
The Summer Fort Festival at Thunderbird Show Park runs through Sunday, Aug. 25. The highlight class of the week, the $145,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver CSI4*-W, presented by Celebrity Cruises, is set to be held on Sunday in the Fort Grand Prix Ring at 2 p.m.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Andy Kocher – $75,000 Volvo Cup CSI4*-W winner
On his plan:
“I figured it really couldn’t go too bad – I was already going to be second [with Fashion V], so I was just going to go all out and if I knocked one or two down, oh well, that was my strategy. [Squirt Gun] is really good. I know he’s one of the best horses in the country, maybe the world. He’s only 8 years old. He’s really green. Every venue we’ve been to he’s got a big result – Kentucky, Spruce Meadows, John Anderson’s, here. He’s just naturally good. [I got him through] Paul Schockemohle, so it wasn’t like I found him underneath a rock. He was at a pretty fancy place. We bought him as a 7-year-old last year. He’s a little different. He’s got a funny canter and he’s a little downhill.”
On Fashion V:
“ I don’t think [Fashion] could have tried any harder than that. If there’s a 200%, she gave me that. I was happier with her than [Squirt Gun] even though she was third, that’s all she had – there was nothing left in the tank. I was really happy with her. She’s one of my favorites. I had a great day and I can’t say more than that.”
On his plans for Sunday:
“I’m going to jump Carollo on Sunday. The other advantage I had against a lot of people today was that I wasn’t using my grand prix horse so I could really go all out. I emptied the tank on both horses. Carollo jumped the first class the first day and I’m just resting him so I hope he has a full tank on Sunday. We’ll see what happens.”
On showing at Thunderbird:
“This is my second time at Thunderbird. I came a few years ago with a horse named Navalo [de Poheton] and he had the last pole down in the qualifier. I think he was eleventh, but I was so close. I brought another horse named Prof de la Roque and we had a great few days. We had a great time, so that’s why we came back.”
$75,000 Volvo Cup CSI4*-W
Place / Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults | Time
1. Squirt Gun / Andrew Kocher / USA / Eye Candy Jumpers / 0 | 60.53
2. Donatello / Ashlee Bond / ISR / Little Valley Farms / 0 | 61.14
3. Fashion V / Andrew Kocher / USA / Eye Candy Jumpers / 0 | 61.96
4. Hocus Pocus de Muze / Harrie Smolders / NED / De Moerhoeve & De Brabander & Vervoort An / 0 | 61.99
5. Charleville / Eve Jobs / USA / Eve Jobs / 0 | 62.28
6. Vice Versa d’Ossau / Zazou Hoffman / USA / Patawag Stables LLC / 0 | 62.52
7. Koss van Heiste / Conor Swail / IRL / Eadaoin Collins / 0 | 62.69
8. Fecybelle / Karl Cook / USA / Signe Ostby / 0 | 62.79
9. Coach / Beezie Madden / USA / Abigail S Wexner / 0 | 63.19
10. Pappa Ante Portas / Eugenio Garza Perez / MEX / David & Monica Garza / 0 | 64.50
11. Chippendale’s Boy DZ / Sloane Coles / USA / The Springledge Group / 0 | 64.70
12. Kino / Karen Polle / JPN / Kinoshita Group, Gregg Polle, & Hiroko Polle / 0 | 64.96