They did it. Oliver and Cooley Master Class successfully defended their title at Kentucky, leading throughout. They set out across country with a three point dressage mark advantage over fellow Brit Piggy French.
Despite Cooley Master Class losing a shoe half way round the cross country course, Oliver steered him home just 3 seconds over the optimum time.
Oliver said: “Once I realised the shoe had gone, I was conscious of having to balance more and be more conservative than I usually would be. He was certainly a bit keener than he was last year, he felt stronger and was definitely up for it, his ears were pricked all the way. He made his own mind up over a couple of the jumps and at times I felt like he was more in control than I was – he did his job well and is becoming an incredible horse.”
With less than a rail in hand over Boyd Martin, Oliver and Cooley Master Class were faultless in the final phase and the win, again, was theirs.
Oliver is the first British rider to win back-to-back Kentucky titles.