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Andy Kocher secures ride on Country Boy

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Photo (c) Smidge Photography. Country Boy. Photo (c) Smidge Photography.

Andy Kocher has secured the ride on the 10-year-old Oldenburg stallion Country Boy (Carry Best—Hataria, by Quirinus). The grey, campaigned exclusively in Europe, has been purchased by Erica Hatfield’s Eye Candy Jumpers and joined Kocher’s string in Wellington, FL, this month.

“He’s beautiful; he jumps like a hunter,” Kocher said. “He just started jumping the bigger classes, and we might also try him as a breeding stallion. He’s a horse for the big classes.”

Kocher began riding Country Boy in the fall for Tenerife Stables, who brought the horse up from a four- and five-year-old, and the partnership was quickly met with success. Most notably, the athletic stallion jumped to a top five finish at CSI4* Liverpool, earning him the distinction of U.S. Equestrian Federation Horse of the Week for Jan. 10. Kocher, likewise, skyrocketed to the top of the USEF Show Jumping Ranking List as Rider of the Week. When Kocher returned to the U.S. to compete in Wellington for the winter, Hatfield stepped up to purchase Country Boy and secure the horse’s own trip stateside. 

“I’m super excited about bring Country Boy to our stable. I paid cash for the flash!” Hatfield exclaimed. “Everyone needs to dial up that John Denver song, because we can’t stop playing it! I’m very thankful to Andy for all of his hard work and his tenacious pursuit of our mutual goals.”

Country Boy was previously campaigned up to the five-star level by Emma Augier de Moussac of the Czech Republic, and that partnership finished third in a ranking class at CSI5* Knokke last June. Before that, Germany’s Ronald Sandbrink rode the stallion in his first international classes. 

“He’s a big, scopey horse,” Kocher said. “I don’t think there’s a class he can’t jump. He’s very brave, and he’s just coming 10. He just needs to be finished—a little bit of rideability and some practice in the bigger classes to get used to jumping the height and width of those jumps and jumping in those venues. He’s a top prospect, and I’m really hoping he’s going to be a big horse for me.”

Country Boy now joins a young string of Kocher stock, including the talented 8-year-old Abelone O.T. Lowlands Z, who won the 1.40m at Wellington’s Holiday & Horses show in December. New acquisition Dundalk, along with the 10-year-old Carollo, will also tackle some of the bigger classes this winter in Wellington.

“It’s definitely the best group of horses I’ve ever had,” Kocher said. “It’s just a game of time right now, but they’re right on the edge. I think I have a lot of good ones that will start winning bigger classes soon. They’re just scratching the surface.”


Press release from Catie Staszak

Photo © Smidge Photography

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