For most riders, winning a grand prix would be the main focus of their day. But for Andy Kocher, his time in the show ring is a short respite between selling horses. Lucky for him, he’s gotten quite good at both.
When Mark Mead walks Gold Panda into schooling ring at a horse show, he immediately knows all eyes are on him. After all, it’s pretty hard to miss a palomino Thoroughbred in a hunter schooling area these days.
“If I’m at a place where people have never seen him before, when I’m riding around people are looking at me like ‘What’s he doing with a cow horse?’ ” said Mead. “But then they see me pick up canter, and he’s got an 18-foot beautiful lopey stride, and I know their view changes. It’s really cool.”
Bugatti may be new to grand prix competition, but now that he’s in the game, he’s not wasting any time. He and Wilhelm Genn topped today’s $77,000 Governor’s Cup Grand Prix, in that horse's fourth grand prix start.
“I thought he’d be in the ribbons, but I didn’t think he’d win,” admitted owner Eduardo Leon.
Most hunter riders worry about making sure their horse will be relaxed and comfortable in the environment when it’s time to show, but Tim Maddrix has the opposite plan with Eloise. With her, the spookier the venue, the better she is.
Texas-based hunter/jumper trainers Bob and Dana Brawley welcomed their first child, Lucas Henry, on Jan. 19, which also happened to be Dana’s birthday.
“He’s a complete delight. He’s a happy baby; that’s what’s so wonderful about him. It’s definitely a little more work. It’s life-changing,” said Bob, who has two grown children from a previous relationship.