What a season it is starting to look like for one of the eventing prefix powerhouses! Two Cooley horses winning major internationals at Blenheim at the weekend gave us a reason to take a deeper look at the rise and rise of Cooley.
From one horse competing at international level in 2010, last year saw a record high 72 Cooley horses competing internationally. We saw two big guns deliver this weekend but the other 64 that we have seen this season so far are also contributing to what is becoming an incredible finishing score stat.
Cooley Cross Border won the Ssangyong Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials CCI3* with the USA’s Kim Severson. One of four of the 67 finishers to complete on his dressage score, Cooley Cross Border has never finished outside of the top 10 in any international he’s completed.
The 10-year-old now has four international wins on his record, finishing on his dressage score each time. Cooley Cross Border‘s final score of 37.8 from Blenheim is bested only by his win at Virginia CIC2* in 2015, when he won on 35.8.
The win at Blenheim is Cooley Cross Border‘s 11th top-five finish at an international, which ties Cooley Master Class for the second most top-five finishes from a Cooley horse. Oliver Townend’s Europeans mount Cooley SRS still holds the record at 14.
Cooley had another big win at Blenheim in the CIC3* 8/9 year olds. Australia’s Christopher Burton piloted 9-year-old Cooley Lands to the win on 42.6, the only horse of the 68 finishers to complete on his dressage score.
The two wins at Blenheim give Cooley horses 39 international top-five finishes in 2017, which matches their season record set in 2015. They are on track to surpass that and perhaps even catch the elusive 50 win threshold by the end of the season.
Looking at all internationals this decade, 5.3% of competitors across the entire sport finish on a score below 50 at the three- and four-star levels. Cooley horses finish on a score below 50 at a rate of 10.6% at the top levels.
That means Cooley horses are performing at TWICE the global average when it comes to producing competitive sub fifty finishing scores at top competitions.
Definitely a reason to tip our hat to Cooley.