LEXINGTON, Ky. — Andy Kocher, of Howell, N.J. and Florida earned two victories in two days at the Kentucky Spring Classic.
On May 17, Kocher and Kahlua could not be caught in the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3*, the second event in the seven-part series, sponsored by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. The audience of the Rolex Stadium watched 61 starters over Guilherme Jorge's (BRA) 16-effort course as an impressive 16 horse-and-rider combinations delivered clear rounds.
Kocher and Top Line Sporthorse International, LLC's Kahlua also claimed the May 16 highlight event, the $35,000 Welcome Speed CSI3*. The dynamic duo was second to enter the ring in the jump-off and they put forth a speedy, clear round in 42.72 seconds that would be closely challenged by the 12 remaining entries, but could never be caught.
“She's a mare and she definitely has opinions and a lot of personality. For the first few months I had her, I didn't even take her to a horse show. She was a little bit difficult in the mouth and cold off my leg — she just did everything her way and that was it. She wasn't meeting in the middle, but it's gotten so much better. I think her and I are finally on the same page — it's taken a while. She'll jump anything you aim her at and she's careful and quick. I'm starting to think she's a little bit of a freak of a horse — she won one [class] at WEF, she was second in one [class] at WEF, I jumped her a couple 5* grand prix classes and she only had one down, I never thought she could do that and now she's proven herself. She might be a big time horse," Kocher said.
The Hagyard Challenge Series consists of seven show-jumping events held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington throughout the 2018 show season with the following four shows to include the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, the Kentucky Summer Classic, the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show and the KHJA Horse Show. The series will culminate during the Kentucky National Horse Show at the end of September, where the rider who accumulates the most points in the series will receive a $50,000 Leading Rider Award, presented upon completion of the seventh event, the $65,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic.
"I might have to come back for the Kentucky National [Horse Show]. The money offered [for the leading rider bonus] is great, so it would definitely be something I would come back for," Kocher said.
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