Katie Cooper Guides Sandlot to the Manchester Summer Festival’s Pre-Green Hunter Blue Ribbon Win

15-Jul-2013

East Dorset, VT – July 15, 2013 – The Vermont Summer Festival saw nothing but triumph from the talented chestnut Warmblood Sandlot. The 6-year-old gelding, owned by Margaret Duprey’s Cherry Knoll Farm, Inc., went right to the top of the leader board in the Pre-Green Hunters this week at the Manchester Summer Festival.

The pair has been taking the Pre-Green Hunters by storm since their partnership in spring 2012. Earlier in the year, Sandlot was named the Gulf Coast Premier I Pre-Green Hunter Champion, outshining his competition with beautiful and traditional hunter rounds. The pair has proven their consistency time after time as they have ridden to the pinnacle of the rankings at horse shows across the East Coast. They have been seen taking the top call in the Pre-Green Hunters at Rose Mount Farm, the Lexington Spring Premiere, the Lexington Spring Encore, the Keswick Hunt Club and at the Upperville Colt and Horse Show.

Cooper trains the chestnut out of Caves Farm in Owings Mills, MD, and they have been aiming to compete in the Pre-Green Incentive Stake Finals in Lexington, KY since the program was first introduced. The newly developed USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Program is the perfect fit for Sandlot. He exemplifies the Pre-Green Incentive Program horse, acting as an example of the time and dedication that goes into encouraging the development of pre-green horses.

“He was great in Vermont, and I was so pleased with how far he has come along,” Cooper explained. “We didn’t show the second day because he wasn’t feeling well, but I knew we would be showing for another week, so I wanted to make sure that he was in top form. He has really evolved with this program, and it has pushed him differently. It has really forced us to work toward a goal, and he has been taking steps forward the whole way.”

Cooper continued, “He has qualified for the Pre-Green Incentive Program Finals, and I am so excited for it. We had picked a couple different horse shows, and he did really well, especially in Upperville, only Louise Serio, Scott Stewart and Hunt Tosh were ahead of us—it felt like the hunter Olympics for us. I was so proud of him. It was great for us to go up against such professionals.”

The Manchester Summer Festival offered a change of scenery for the pair and a new stomping ground after showing mostly in the Virginia area. Despite the new venue for them, it seemed as though nothing could stand in their way as they once again earned the judges’ nod for their traditional finesse in their hunter rounds. Cooper navigated Sandlot to the blue ribbon and the third place award over fences. Cooper was immensely proud, feeling more prepared as the Finals approach in only a month.

Cooper concluded, “I am thrilled to be able to complete our goal of going to the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Program Finals. He has really matured, and we have worked so hard. He is such a great horse, and he is jumping so hard out there. I am excited to see how the Finals go for us.”

Cooper will continue to compete with the gelding throughout the summer months, and hopes to reach their ultimate goal of sealing the victory in Lexington, KY, during the Bluegrass Festival. If their record continues to stay as consistent and strong, there is no doubt that they will prove themselves unstoppable. For more information on Cherry Knoll Farm, Inc. please visit www.cherryknollfarminc.com.