Interview and A Day in The Life with 5* Eventer, Courtney Cooper

Who's a Star and Courtney at Rolex Kentucky (Photo: Mike McNally)

Courtney and Who’s A Star at Rolex Kentucky(Photo:Mike McNally)


* List a few of your riding accomplishments:

5 Star Eventing Rider with Who’s A Star, who I bred, raised, trained and rode myself.

Twice 4 yo Young Event Horse Overall National Champion with homebred R River Star, and again with Excel Star Time to Shine whom I imported.

Partner in Excel Sporthorses, Global importer of horses.

Multiple wins at The American Eventing Championship.

Stadium Jumping, Courtney and Excel Start Time to Shine(Photo: Liz Crawley)
Stadium Jumping, Courtney and Excel Star Time to Shine(Photo: Liz Crawley)

* When did you start riding? Where did you start riding?

I started riding at NCMT, New Canaan Mounted Troop, in New Canaan, CT which was based on the tenets of the Calvary system; it was similar to Pony Club. I started when I was 12 and was working my way for lessons within 6 months as I was hooked.

*How did you get into eventing?

Eventing was the sport done at NCMT 

* Tell us about the “Day in the Life” of Courtney Cooper:

My day usually starts between 5 – 5:30 AM doing paperwork and making some calls overseas, then I am out in the barn around 7 and on my first horse between 7:30-8 AM

I will ride until about 12 and then take a quick break.  I am extremely fortunate that I have some great women who work for me and take care of the horses so I can focus on my riding.

In the afternoons, I will ride more, and perhaps take a group xc schooling, teach lessons to my staff and students, show horses to customers or take lessons myself or do a combination of all of them.

Once the horses are tucked in for the night, I will do some more paperwork and return calls, spend time with my husband and have dinner and then off to bed somewhere between 10-10:30 pm

Courtney’s homebred mare, Count R Lucky Stars and her foal, Unstoppable Star(Photo: New Bolton Center)

* Where is your favorite event to show at?

Favorite events are like favorite horses, I do not really have favorites but like different places for different reasons.  When we are in Aiken, the weather is the best and to have multiple venues all within an hour is amazing. When we are home in Pennsylvania the footing and the organizational teams at Fair Hill and Plantation are tops, and with events at Loch Moy and the Horse Park of New Jersey they are always being particularly welcoming…and of course the Kentucky Three-Day is always a favorite…

* Who is one of your mentors in the Equestrian world?

One of my earliest mentors was a woman named Lois Lann, who groomed at the top levels and coached at the lower levels.  She was always optimistic but realistic.  She was a great early supporter of what I was trying to do and accomplish, and I miss her terribly as she passed away several years ago.

* What advice would you give to your 15 yr old self?

Celebrate your resilience.  You are good enough, because it is not talent but more times than not, it is work and work ethic that will bring you where you want to go, and you have that in spades!

* What do you like to do in your spare time?

When I do have spare time, I enjoy spending it quietly with my husband.  I enjoy cooking, baking and traveling as well

Courtney and Who's a Start(Photo: Mike McNally)
Courtney and Who’s a Start(Photo: Mike McNally)

* What inspires you?

People living their dreams inspire me.  I have often been told I could sell ice to Eskimos, but I really feel like the horses sell themselves. The best part of my work is to hear about the matches and partnerships and how people are doing things they only dreamed of…that is what continues to inspire me, to do this for others and myself.

Courtney Cooper is located in Pennsylvania, April-December. And in South Carolina, January-March.

She can be reached at:

610-932-5832  website:

Her horses are listed on

Thank you Courtney!!! #H4YC #CourtneyCooper #USEA #USDF #eventing #dressage

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