Investigation under way after controversial derby round

  • The FEI has confirmed it is investigating after Andy Kocher jumped in a derby at Spruce Meadows on Carollo the day after the combination won a three-round grand prix.

    The US showjumper took the Queen Elizabeth II Cup, his first five-star grand prix win, on the 10-year-old gelding on 6 July, then rode the horse in the derby class the next day.

    Video of the round, in which he racked up 28 faults, has been shared on social media, to widespread criticism.

    The FEI has now said it is “looking into this matter”.

    “While we are waiting to receive the official reports from the foreign judge and the foreign veterinary delegate, we have proactively contacted the officials from the event,” a spokesman said. “We are also in touch with the athlete’s national federation.”

    Andy said, the day after the derby, it had been a “surreal weekend”, and that his grand prix win was “something I will never forget”.

    Having thanked those who congratulated him, and had supported his career, he added: “Some great horse and rider combinations won both the QE II and the Spruce Meadows derby in the same weekend, and Carollo and I gave it a try, but it was not to be.

    “Carollo had never jumped those kind of fences before, and in hindsight I should have pulled him up when I felt some anxiousness from him, but I always try to complete the course both to give a horse experience and as a sportsman. Carollo jumped on as the fighter he is. There’s no doubting that after his big win on Saturday!

    “I apologise to the owners and previous owners of Carollo for making an entry mistake.”

    Andy said Carollo was “fully examined by a vet” as a precaution, and “all is well”.

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    “He’ll get a well deserved rest now until his next competition, and I’m looking forward to what he can accomplish next! Thank you to my owners and team for making all of this possible,” he said.

    Andy told H&H today (17 July) he had not heard from the FEI.

    “I assume I won’t because I did not break any rules,” he said.

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