Karl Cook (USA) has proven himself a consistent winner in grand prix action with Caracole de la Roque time and time again, despite the partnership still being new. This Sunday, they took the win in the $145,100 Agero CSI3* Grand Prix during the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament at Traverse City Horse Shows.
Cook and Signe Otsby’s 11-year-old Selle Français mare (Zandor Z x Kannan) were one of eight pairs to navigate Cedric Longis’ (FRA) first-round track penalty free. With the footspeed Cook is able to achieve on Caracole de la Roque, it didn’t matter where in the order he returned, but his later draw of sixth allowed him to gauge how the jump-off track was riding.
The pair clocked in three seconds faster than the next-closest finisher, Samantha Schaefer (USA) and James Bond HX, owned by Bonne Vie LLC, who claimed second place. Callie Schott (USA) took third with Garant, owned by Southern Arches, LLC.
“She’s just fast,” Cook said of Caracole de la Roque, a ride he acquired from Frenchman Julien Epaillard. “Normally, when you go fast with a horse there’s a level of wander and the canter gets inverted so you can’t jump well out of it. She’s so comfortable at speed that you just don’t have all the normal concerns, so you can run and turn at full speed. She’s amazing.”
Still new to one another, Cook has been very practical with placing Caracole de la Roque, knowing what the horse is capable of and not wanting to step up too high too soon.