THERMAL, Calif. – March 9, 2020 – Karl Cook and Caillou 24 were unstoppable in the $100,000 HorseTaxi Grand Prix with a jump-off time of 42.661 seconds. Christian Heineking aboard Heineking Show Stables’ Cento Blue (Centadel x Chacco-Blue) finished in a close second with a time of 43.097, while Karl Cook also claimed third place aboard Signe Ostby’s Ircos IV (Nabab De Reve x Echo de Thurin) with a time of 45.687 seconds.
The course challenged 31 pairs with seven returning for the jump-off course. “The course [today] was nice and it wasn’t super challenging on the horse,” Cook commented. “It was a good, competitive course for the riders that were competing.”
“We have the World Cup Finals coming up so I didn’t want to just destroy [the course], you know, either win or die, in the jump-off today,” Cook shared of his plan going into the jump-off. “I just picked that big canter and I went as fast as I thought was natural and there was one less to the last fence, but again I didn’t want there to be any oof moments,” Cook continued. “I needed to stay steady and I don’t want tomorrow or next week for him to still be feeling the effects of the jump-off, that’s not really smart.”
Cook and Caillou 24 (Casall Ask x San Patrignano Corrado) have had many years of experience working together and have found a rhythm as a team. “He’s been my number one horse for a little over a year and a half now and he’s been getting better and better,” Cook shared of the 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding, owned by Signe Ostby. “He’s been doing great in the World Cup Qualifiers and I was really happy with how he did out in Florida,” Cook continued. “We have the World Cup Finals in April, so we will see if we show next week [together].”
The win in the HorseTaxi Grand Prix solidified Cook’s qualification for the $250,000 Invitational Grand Prix next week during Desert Circuit Week VIII.