We're so thrilled to welcome Andrew Cooper to our Bit Bank team! The nice guy of the Australian eventing scene, Andrew is an established elite rider, competing on the Australian Eventing circuit.
Highlights of Andrew’s career include 3rd place at the Australian International 3DE CCI**** in Adelaide on “Evergem Perfection” in 2016. He won the CCI** at the Sydney International 3DE in 2017 on “Hunters Hill”. Another key highlight for Andrew was placing 3rd in the CCI*** at the Melbourne International 3DE in 2017 on “Tasman Park Ovation” and additionally being selected to ride on the Senior Australian Team in the Oceania Championships on “Evergem Perfection”.
Because we love all things bits we asked Andrew to tell us about his team of top performing horses and give us the rundown on what bits he uses for which disciplines.
Winston ‘Omega Star’ – Kicked off this 4* debut in December last year. Winston
is an OTT Thoroughbred owned by Viv Higgins. The plan is for Winston this year
is to hopefully qualify for Adelaide 5*.
What Bits? All phases – Sprenger WH Ultra Snaffle – He is nice and soft in the mouth, so really only needs a snaffle. There is no need for any leverage in the jumping phases.
Charlie ‘Manhattan’ – Currently competing 3* – Charlie is an OTT TB owned by Andrew
since he was a 6-year-old. He recently won at wallaby hill 3DE in December. The
plan for Charlie is to progress to 4* by the end of the year.
What Bits? Dressage - Sprenger WH Ultra Snaffle
SJ XC – Volcanite Rubber Pelham, because he is not very strong but helps to keep him in a consistent frame as he likes to have a high head carriage coming into the jump, this keeps him a bit rounder and a bit softer.
Arnold’ – Arnie is a 3* Fisherman’s friend warmblood bred and owned by Madeline
Wilson. Plans for Arnie this year are to get to 4* by the end of the year.
What Bits? DR - Sprenger WH Ultra Snaffle.
SJ and XC - 2.5 ring gag jumping – as he can be a bit spooky, so do not require too much breaks, however he can be a little bit strong. Therefore, we don’t want to over bit him so he does stop but using this particular bit does provide a nice amount of leverage.
Park Ovation’ – 5* Warmblood mare, owned by Andrew from 10 year old. Key
performances for this mare are placing 4th in her first five star at Adelaide
International Three Day Event in 2017, placing 3rd at the Melbourne
International 3DE in 2017 and winning the Wild Oats Best Performed Mare award.
What Bits? DR and SJ: just transfer her to the sensitive trust inno sense port mouth eggbutt bit paired with Micklem bridle, because she Is fairly sensitive in the mouth. Found this to be super beneficial and find her to be going a lot better.
XC – polo gag because she is 18 hands and fairly strong giving me the ultimate control.
Jack 'Pepper Jack' – is a Warmblood x TB. Part owned by Helen Pyle. Andrew has had the
ride on this horse since he was broken in as a 4year old. He recently won the
2* class at Wallaby Hill International 3DE. He is a very stunning horse, that
is very consistent in the placings after dressage. The plans for Jack are to
hopefully progress to 3* by the end of the 2021 Season.
What Bits? All phases: Sprenger WH Ultra Snaffle – He is super easy and very lovely to ride.
Dara Dexter' – Dexter is owned by Madeline Wilson. He is a 2* warmblood. Last
year he won the Melbourne 5yr old young horse class. We are really excited for
the future with this horse. Andrew currently has the ride on him as Maddie is
pregnant with their first child, and he will most likely go back to her once
she has had the baby.
What Bits? DR - Sprenger WH Ultra Snaffle.
SJ – Bomber DC Morgan Blue Swivel – We use this bit as we find he can reef and get a bit heavy, so this bit stops this movement.
Jane’ – Annie is a homebred, warmblood mare bred, produced and owned by
Madeline Wilson. She is currently competing 3*and I have the easy job of taking
over the reins for the moment. The plan for Annie is to hopefully to qualify
for Adelaide 5* this year.
What Bits? DR - Sprenger WH Ultra Snaffle
SJ - Bomber DC Morgan Blue Swivel – we use this as she can get a little bit strong. Using this in this phase of the competition helps to have a little more leverage than an ordinary snaffle.
XC – Neue Schule – Eggbutt Running Gag – Using this bit gives us better breaks because she can get a bit heavy towards the end of the course as she is a big mare.
So after all of this what would be your go to bit and why?
It's a tough decision as you can see that I use a fair few but probably these two...Its not really a go to bit but I do like the Sprenger dynamic RS eggbutt it’s a nice soft bit being an eggbutt, it doesn’t have the harsh reaction that a loose ring can sometime have. Or the Sprenger WH Ultra Snaffle – which can be a little bit sharper, so if they are a bit stronger, they will go in this. But if they are softer in the mouth they will go in the other.
All images are from The Blachat.