Dreams come true for Andrew Kocher (USA)
The ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup (1.60m) is the Grand Prix of the Spruce Meadows ‘North American’ CSI5*, presented by Rolex. Forty horse/rider combinations qualified to compete in the prestigious event earlier in the week. The field of competition was full of top international athletes looking to have their names added to the historic trophy.
The competition is run over two rounds, the top twelve placed horses after round one advance to round two. If there is a tie for faults after the two rounds, there is a jump off. The tracks for the competition were designed by FEI Course Designer Santiago Varela (ESP), who was looking to test the riders in multiple ways.
Round one was a 570m track consisting of 13 obstacles (16 efforts) that riders attempted to jump clear under the time allowed of 86 seconds. Only four riders were able to deliver clear rounds and carry no penalties into round two.
The round two track tested riders over 490m of track and 11 obstacles (14 efforts) including the challenging double liver pools. Prior to Hardin Towell (USA), the first of the round one clears, John Perez (COL) sat atop the leader board sitting on a combined two faults. Perez’s lead did not last long with Towell finishing on only one time fault picked up in the second round. Andrew Kocher (USA) quickly followed, also finishing on one time fault sending both riders to a jump-off.
Towell was first in for the jump off and would finish with four faults and a time of 47.09s. All Kocher had to do was leave all the fences up. Aboard the bay gelding Carollo, Kocher did just that. The pair crossed the finish line with a time of 45.11s winning the 2019 ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup.
“I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s a dream come true, I don’t even know how it happened. This is the biggest (victory) I have ever had” – Andrew Kocher (USA) on winning the 2019 Spruce Meadows ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup.
A natural hat trick for Jordan Coyle (IRL) and Picador
The sun peaked through the clouds Saturday morning for the Imperial Winning Round competition of the Spruce Meadows ‘North American’ CSI5* Tournament presented by Rolex. Throughout the week riders rode the various 1.50m competition in hopes of making the overall top 30 which qualified them to compete in the weekend event.
The Imperial Winning Round is jumped over two rounds of competition. The top ten riders from the first round return for the second or Winning Round in their reverse order of ranking. The top ten riders represented six nations, all looking for their moment in the winner’s circle.
Second to go in the Winning Round was McLain Ward (USA) who laid down the time to beat of 51.68s. Canadian Mario Deslauriers aboard Amsterdam 27 rose to the challenge and crossed the finish line in a time of 51.56s, but it was not enough. Jordan Coyle (IRL) had the fastest clear ride in the round one positioning him to go last in the Winning Round. With his quick partner Picador, the two mastered the track and crossed the finish line clear with a time of 50.66s to take the win.
“He’s (Picador) unbelievable , I’ve never had a horse quite like him. He’s always ready to go and just fast. I can trust him to jump the jumps and that makes my job easier” – Jordan Coyle (IRL) on his horse Picador and their third win of the 2019 Spruce Meadows Summer Series.
Full results here.