“Taking a page out of the history books and adding one of his own.” In a ringside interview, FEI broadcast analyst and frequent NF Style columnist Catie Staszak perfectly summarized Andy Kocher’s $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Del Mar CSI3*-W win in California on Saturday, October 22, 2017.
Last to compete in an 8-man jump-off, Kocher piloted MKO Equestrian LLC’s 16-year-old Selle Francais gelding Navalo de Poheton (Cumano x Double Espoir) to his first World Cup Qualifier win. It was definitely a memorable weekend, one that Kocher himself says he couldn’t help but feel excited about. On top of achieving a career milestone, he now holds the lead in the East Coast Sub-League of the Longines FEI World Cup™ North American League with 31 points.
Together, these two are an impressionable pair and a combination to watch with interest in the coming months as they’ve made it clear that they are officially on the path to the 2018 World Cup Finals in Paris.
Learn nine things you didn’t know about Andy Kocher and Navalo de Poheton:
- Kocher began his show jumping career working for David Pelligrini in Tennessee, USA.
- “Andy’s life motto is, “every ‘no’ is closer to a ‘yes’.”
- Andy does not suffer from nerves at all. “He has no nerves. He can literally be on deck for an important class and not even be on the horse” laughs his wife Jennifer Jones. “He can learn the course at the gate, go in and jump clear.”
- Andy is extremely talented with anything related to numbers. “He can remember phone numbers, zip codes and mostly anything related to prices. I call him Rain Man” admits Jennifer. “Andy cannot remember if he is wearing socks but ask him the zip code of anywhere in the continental United States and he can tell you.”
- Just one year ago, Kocher had competed at only two FEI events. After this weekend, he can boast his first World Cup Qualifier win!
- Navalo De Poheton spent most of his upper level international career with U.S. rider Schuyler Riley before coming under Kocher’s management earlier this year.
- Since becoming a part of Kocher’s string, Navalo jumped to multiple wins in Tulsa, OK, capturing top honors of the $130,000 Ariat Grand Prix Grand Prix CSI3* at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in July, as well as strong placings in both the Welcome Stake CSI4* at the Devon Horse Show earlier this spring and the Upperville Horse Show CSI4* in Virginia.
- After spending many years as one of Riley’s top horses, Navalo de Poheton was purchased as a potential amateur jumper. However, his tendency to be a bit strong in the tack persuaded Kocher to try his hand at competing the gelding himself.
- Navalo’s particular way of going in the ring reminded Kocher’s father Kelly of a horse from the past that may be able to help Andy in his present. There was a really good rider named Terry Rudd, and she had a horse named PS Gazpacho, and my dad always talks about it.” Kocher said. “Last week, he said, ‘I think you should ride Navalo de Poheton like she used to ride that horse. Go any possible inside turn around the course that you can, so you can keep the horse on a slow, short stride and kind of keep him in check. I made two kind of ridiculous inside turns and kind of shocked him, and it worked. So, I took that theory from my dad and a little history from Terry Rudd.”
Photography by ©FEI/Nick Souza