Lexington, Ky. – July 22, 2020 – Hunter competition at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show kicked off Wednesday, July 22, bringing top athletes and horses to the Kentucky Horse Park for a week of exciting sport. In the Murphy Arena, Thoroughbred horses were highlighted for the TAKE 2 Thoroughbred Hunters, a division that promotes a second career for retired racehorses. Standing out from the pack, it was Christopher Coberley and Mariner who took home the blue over fences.
The 5-year-old gelding showed great style and scope around the Lewis Pack (USA) designed courses, impressing the judges to capture the win. Coberley acquired Mariner in 2018 as an off the track Thoroughbred that was once sold as a yearling out of Kentucky. After Mariner finished his short-lived career as a racehorse, Coberley and his father purchased the gelding in hopes of transitioning him to a new path as a jumper.
In January of 2019, Mariner made his horse show debut in the jumper divisions at the World Equestrian Center in Wilmington, Ohio. Although Mariner and the 17-year-old rider took home many top placings in the jumper arena, Coberley’s love for the hunter division encouraged the pair to try a new course of action. Making their hunter ring debut only two weeks ago, Mariner stepped into his new role seamlessly, laying down consistent trips to best the field in one of the over fences classes. Looking forward, Coberley is excited to continue their journey by moving up in the hunter divisions and even competing in some hunter derbies.
The TAKE2 Thoroughbred Hunters will continue with the second half of classes set to take place in the Murphy arena Thursday afternoon, culminating in crowning respective champions of the division.
Hunter competition will continue at the Kentucky Horse Park for the Kentucky Summer Horse Show on Thursday, July 23, with the Green Conformation Hunters starting at 8:00 a.m. in the Stonelea Arena.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Christopher Coberley – TAKE2 Thoroughbred Hunter over fences class winner
“He came from here in Kentucky and he was sold as a yearling. He was training as a racehorse and then he went to California but he couldn’t even breeze so he came back here. My dad and I ended up buying him and we have had him for two years now. He has come a long way since we bought him.”
On Mariner’s transition from the jumper to hunter divisions:
“We started in the jumpers and then I made the switch to the hunter ring because I really like the hunters. I thought that he would be quiet enough for the classes so I wanted to try it with him this year. His first show as a hunter was only two weeks ago at the World Equestrian Center. He was really good there! I would like to do some derbies on him maybe and some of the higher hunter divisions.”
On the Kentucky Summer Horse Show:
“I think it is really special that they feature the thoroughbreds here [with the TAKE2 Thoroughbred Hunter]. It is a special class for us to compete in. I like this horse show a lot! I like Kentucky in general so it is really fun to be here to show.”