Cooley Cross Border is like a little kid we’ve been watching grow up over the years. Eventing Nation has been following his career since…
“Forever!” Kim laughs. “I’ve been very, very slow with him.”
Kim Severson imported the now 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse when he was a barely-broke 4-year-old from Richard Sheane, the man behind the Cooley name. He first announced his presence to the event world in 2012 when he won the Young Event Horse 5-Year-Old East Coast Championships.
Kim had a hunch from the get go that Cross was something special. In April 2013, as he was wrapping up his first successful season at Prelim, EN featured Cross in its “EN’s Got Talent” series, and Kim had this to say: “I’m really excited about this horse. He’s an extraordinarily nice horse, and it’s a super opportunity for me and the States if I can make it work. We need more horses like this; that has to happen for the U.S. Here’s a horse of the quality that we need that hopefully can go on and perform at the highest level for us.”
Fast-forward to this week’s Richland Park Horse Trials, where Kim and Cross are the overnight Advanced leaders on a score of 30.90 in dressage. This will be Cross’s second crack at Advanced, technically — Kim started him in the Advanced at Millbrook H.T. in July but withdrew him after the dressage due to sore feet. They handily won the Intermediate at Fair Hill H.T. a couple weeks later, laying down a dressage score of 22.70 and double-clear jumping rounds.
Kim was obviously pleased with Cross’s dressage test yesterday. “He was very good and did everything he was supposed to,” she says, noting that the horse’s flying changes were coming along.
Kim and Cross’s test, courtesy of The Horse Pesterer:
She sounds confident that Cross will rise to the occasion over Richland’s big-kid fences and says she likes the cross-country courses. “They look great, the footing is great, they’re hard but they’re good,” she says. “They’re Ian (Stark) courses so you have to ride forward, which is good for us.”
In addition to Cross Kim has Fernhill Fearless in the CIC3*, where they sit in 14th place, as well as two horses, Hope Cove and Cooley Streetwise, in Open Prelim. Final scores just came in for Open Prelim and Kim is leading by a landslide on Hope Cove, having scored a 22.70.
Kim and Sparky’s test, courtesy of The Horse Pesterer:
Richland Advanced top 20:
Much more to come, live from the action-packed cornfields of Richland Park!