Tragically, Andy Kocher's longtime mount, Navalo, suffered a broken leg while on course in the Al Shira'aa Hickstead Derby on Sunday and had to be put down. On Instagram, Kocher reflected on the events of the weekend (you can read the full post here) and paid tribute to his beloved friend. Our hearts go out to Andy and his entire team at this difficult time.
Quote of the Week
“We’ve done a bit of practice to make sure he’d come down the Bank. Last year, I wondered if I’d wasted a clear round because they don’t come round here very often, so it’s nice to get another one...”
When it comes to Nations Cup competition, you can’t do better than a zero score, which is just what Team Belgium pulled off in Rotterdam ahead of anchor rider Pieter Devos’ final round. The squad, comprised of Nicola Philippaerts (H&M Chilli Willi), Niels Bruynseels (Cas de Liberte), Jos Verlooy (Igor), and Devos (Espoir), defeated Germany on four and a three-way tie for third between the U.S.A., the Netherlands, and Switzerland on 12.
What a month it’s been for Belgium, who also took home the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Poland at Sopot last weekend. Once again at Rotterdam, Bruynseels and Devos made strong showings for their team, while new members (Nicola) Philippaerts and Verlooy both pulled off double-clears. Of special note is Philippaerts—fresh off his win in the LGCT Grand Prix of Cascais with H&M Harley—who looks to be one of summer’s breakout stars. Watch for him to shine on the GCL Tour, where Nicola (along with brother Olivier) is a key member of the London Knights, which currently sits first in the League standings.
The Week’s Big Drama
Do riders need a better work ethic—or better mentorship?
Recent Stanford University grad and Under 21 rider Jennifer Gates plans to take a year off to concentrate full-time on her riding before entering medical school, and she’s found just the coach to help her do it. This summer, Gates and her Evergate Stables operation plan to partner with World #1 Harrie Smolders of the Netherlands. “I am eager to learn everything I can from him,” Gates said.
Jonty Evans & Cooley Rorkes Drift a the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (c) Stephen McCarthy/Getty Images
Eventer Jonty Evans remains in serious condition after a fall at Tattersalls.