WATCH: Andrew Kocher Flirts With Disaster, Ends With Victory at Devon

Andrew Kocher and Navalo De Poheton. PC: Phelps Media

Andrew Kocher had a magnificent jump-off round at the Devon Horse Show Tuesday night to win the CSI 4* Welcome Stake, even though it nearly ended in disaster at the final fence. But the heroic save meant crossing the wires in 35.27 seconds and taking home the big check and clinching his first ever Grand Prix win in the Dixon Oval.

See the full round here, and be sure to watch to the end:

“I was lucky to stay on in the jump-off!” Andy said after the class. “I actually had one leg over the horse – I was sidesaddle for the wrong class! It was fun, it was really fast and I got lucky!”

USA’s Callan Solem and Horseshoe Trail Farm, LLC’s VDL Wizard finished second to the pair on a final time of 36.850 seconds, followed by Laura Chapot and Quointreau Un Prince (a horse Laura co-owns with McLain Ward), who stopped the clock at 36.860.

There were sixteen horses in the jump-off in total over Kelvin Bywater’s course for the evening.

Andrew Kocher and Navalo De Poheton (Photo: The Book LLC)

Andrew Kocher (USA) – First Place

On his first win at the Devon Horse Show:
“Last year was the first time I’ve ever shown in the open jumpers here. I never thought I’d win one, especially not a night class! I’ve always really wanted to show here but I just wasn’t good enough to be honest! The Devon Horse Show embodies tradition and they get a crowd here every night. I had a good time and I’m really excited! I’m wondering if maybe this isn’t really happening, maybe I’m dreaming!”On Navalo De Poheton:

“That horse is really, really fast. I’ve only had him since a week after WEF. I don’t know when the last time he jumped a class like this, it has been a while I think. There was a really terrible trailer accident coming back from Spruce Meadows a few years ago and he was in that trailer. He somehow got out, not only alive but he’s still jumping.”

On how he won:
“I was a little wide and fast to fence two in the jump-off and everybody else, I thought, went tight and slow. I was always taught that it’s much faster to go around and run than it is to go inside and slow. I think a lot of people tried to go inside and slow, and it’s not faster, ever.”

Callan Solem (USA) – Second Place

On Tuesday’s course:
“I thought [the course] was just right for the first night – hard enough and the time was tight. As always, the footing is perfect here. It’s always exciting to ride in front of the Devon fans.”

On VDL Wizard:
“I’m so happy with [VDL Wizard]. He loves it here and we had a good time. I really wanted to do six strides to the last jump, I just didn’t move enough when I landed. If I had to do it over, I think I could take Andy. Some horses really grow from the adrenaline, and some horses don’t really like it. My horse likes the excitement.”

Laura Chapot (USA) – Third Place

On Quointreau Un Prince:
“I was really thrilled with my horse. I thought he jumped super. I think the one place he lost time was over the liverpool. He saw the liverpool in the air and it surprised him, but other than that I don’t think I would change my ride at all. I’m just thrilled with him; he really put in a great effort. I think the horses jump very well off the ground here. You’re seeing every horse that is going in the grand prix tonight and I think the result ended up good.”On the Devon Horse Show’s second year of CSI4* competition:

“It’s great to see all the people supporting Devon and I know the crowd really appreciates it. Hopefully it will continue on in the future. I think Devon has really raised the bar. People have always wanted to come to Devon, but now I think they have a reason to turn down other horse shows and go back to where there’s so much tradition.”

 $50,000 Devon Welcome Stake CSI4*:
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / R1 Faults / Time / R2 Faults / Time
1. Navalo De Poheton / Andrew Kocher / USA / MKO Equestrian LLC / 0 / 66.150 / 0 / 35.270
2. VDL Wizard / Callan Solem / USA / Horseshoe Trail Farm, LLC / 0 / 66.360 / 0 / 36.850
3. Quointreau Un Prince / Laura Chapot / USA / Laura Chapot and McLain Ward / 0 / 68.390 / 0 / 36.860
4. Cooper / Devin Ryan / USA / Devin Ryan / 0 / 69.430 / 0 / 37.810
5. Balou 660 / Vasco Flores / PR / Gotham Enterprizes, LLC / 0 / 67.960 / 0 / 38.680
6. Manodie II H / Georgina Bloomberg / USA / Gotham Enterprizes, LLC / 0 / 67.490 / 0 / 38.700
7. Brasil / Emma Butchard / USA / Emma Butchard / 0 / 69.880 / 0 / 43.980
8. Rothchild / Mclain Ward / USA / Sagamore Farms / 0 / 69.080 / 4 / 36.490
9. GC Chopins Bushi / Alberto Michan / MEX / Iron Horse Farm / 0 / 70.150 / 4 / 37.660
10. Tou La Moon / Charlie Jayne / USA / Alex Jayne / 0 / 68.010 / 4 / 38.950
11. Casall / Ali Wolff / USA / Blacklick Bend Farm / 0 / 67.820 / 4 / 43.980
12. E.S. Finou 4 / Aaron Vale / USA / Thinks Like A Horse / 0 / 67.240 / 8 / 38.620