Following the announcement earlier this week that Cooley Master Class is retiring from eventing, we dug into the archives to find some of our favourite moments from the five-star winner and medallist’s career…
Angela Hislop’s Cooley Master Class at home at rider Oliver Townend’s yard. The horse’s head was pictured on the front cover of Horse & Hound’s 14 February 2019 issue of the magazine, when he was featured in our popular Horse Hero series.
Burnham Market has long been a happy hunting ground for Oliver. Cooley Master Class won at CCI4*-S there in 2016 and 2017. He took top spot at the same level at Ballindenisk in Ireland in 2014 and finished in the top three at CCI4*-S on three other occasions, all in 2017 – at Jardy, Burgham and Blair Castle Horse Trials. Jardy and Blair were Event Rider Masters classes, so particularly competitive.
The horse was particularly successful in the USA in the later stages of his career. He added victory at Kentucky in 2019 to his 2018 win.
Cooley Master Class also went well in the first two phases at Kentucky in 2021 to sit eighth overnight, though he was eliminated at the final horse inspection on the last day so couldn’t go on to complete.
The son of Ramiro B made his only British team appearance at the 2019 European Eventing Championships at Luhmühlen Horse Trials. The pair made a good start to the competition with seventh place after the first phase.
They went clear across country inside the time and had just one showjump down to finish ninth individually and lead the British team to silver.
In 2021, the Irish-bred was short-listed for the Tokyo Olympics and finished fifth in the ultra-competitive CCI4*-S at Bicton Horse Trials that effectively served as the final trial for the British team.
Last autumn, Cooley Master Class made his final trip to the USA, to the new Maryland 5 Star. He finished second after leading the dressage, going clear inside the time across country and having one showjump down.
Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class at Maryland 5 Star.
What are your favourite moments from Cooley Master Class’s career?
Pictures by Peter Nixon, Amy Dragoo, Getty and Alamy
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