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Junior News
by Rebecca Walton
Hummingbird Nest Ranch are Annie
Laurie’s best memory. She said,
“That whole week was a really good
The Cook Family Recipe
competition. It was the first time I’d
ever done anything with a bunch of
It’s no longer a secret around the show
for the World Cup this year but I’m too
kids from around the world that were
ring; greatness runs in the Cook family.
young, 16, so they could be really mad
all my age or a little older. We got to
at me for doing the World Cup class,”
From Pony Jumper Finals to Young
share horses with foreigners.”
Rider Championships and now Grand
explained Karl.
Her win in the 2006 Pony Jumper
Prix, the list of accomplishments for
Trying to keep life ‘normal’, he rides
Finals aboard NM My Mini Milton
four to five times a week and also attends
Karl and Annie Laurie Cook is growing
was what she considers her greatest
show by show.
Menlo High School. He long-boards
accomplishment. “It was really a good
Butch Thomas, their trainer, asked a
frequently and used to play lacrosse.
experience because I didn’t know what
simple question some years ago, “Do
Choosing riding over lacrosse, Karl
to expect coming from California. My
you want to ride?”...that started it all.
has not looked back since. “It was a
brother and everyone had said the
E Karl and Annie’s mother, Signe Ostby,
pretty clear decision. Lacrosse wasn’t a
East Coast was a big deal that they
has been riding with Butch, of Willow
passionate sport like riding; it was just
were really good and their ponies were
Tree Farm in Woodside, CA, since the
something to do.”
amazing. It was cool being able to beat
early 80’s. He knew the children had been
them coming from the West Coast,”
riding in their backyard and offered them
she explained excitedly.
the chance to do more.
Like Karl, she also qualified for the
“When I was a really little kid my mom
Young Rider Team. “I qualified for
had two little white ponies at my house,”
Young Riders this year for the B Team
said Karl. “My sister and I would get on
but my main horse, Valeska Van De
them bareback, mom would lead them,
Raapaarden, had colic surgery, then
she would cluck and they would gallop
my other horse Llandovery went lame
across the paddock. Then we would
at Young Riders; so this years Young
walk back up the hill and just do it over
Riders didn’t go too well for me.”
and over.” Karl and Annie Laurie were
Nonetheless she supported her brother
and cheered him on to victory.
Karl Cook’s name has been in the press a
She rides her jumpers four times a
lot recently; after not only winning Team
week, attends Menlo High School and
Gold for Zone 10 at the North American
like Karl tries to find a balance. “It’s
Young Riders Championships, but also
kind of hard but I try to tell my teachers
Individual Gold on Uno De Laubry. He
ahead of time if I’m going to be gone.
explained, “I couldn’t really believe that I
Then I try to get the work early and do
actually won. I landed off the last oxer
it at night at the shows. If I’m going to
and I was like ‘Oh my gosh I won!’ It was
Karl’s future looks very bright, and he be missing a test then I try and make it
really amazing cantering around the ring
has a lot of big equestrian aspirations. up before, rather than after, so I don’t
knowing I just won Nationals.”
“I’m going to do the World Cup qualifiers have too much on my plate once I get
Always with a positive attitude, Karl
at the beginning of next year,” said Karl. back.” she explained.
says, “I’m not one of those people who
“I hope that I can do well enough to go Annie Laurie has her own equestrian
thinks ‘I have to do well, I have to do
to the World Cup Finals. I’m going to goals. “For this year I’m hoping to move
this, if I don’t do this, blank will happen.’
move up to Grand Prix, do the open to the Highs and then maybe next year,
It’s kind of I hope things will happen
classes and the big speed classes, that or the year after that, move up to the
and if they happen, great!”
kind of stuff. I want to take a year off Grand Prix. When I’m like 18, 19 or 20
He did not slow down after the
of college and I might go to Europe for I’d like to try for the World Cup, kind
NAYRC, and indeed went to the
a couple months.” of like Karl is trying to do now.” Only a
Showpark Summer Classic to place sixth
Annie Laurie Cook, Karl’s younger sister, freshman in high school, she would like
in the Grand Prix. “I was going to try
has a long resume of accomplishments to go a good college where she can ride
of her own. She has been to the FEI and then possibly turn professional.
Children’s Jumper Finals, won Pony The ingredients for success are
Jumper Finals and is now competing in apparent with this young pair of
the Junior Jumpers. Cooks. Although their current records
“Last year I did Junior Mods for two speak for themselves, Karl and Annie
shows, then the Lows a little bit and then Laurie’s commitment along with their
right into the Juniors. It was pretty easy trainers Butch and Lu Thomas and the
because of the horse I have to show right support of their family definitely seem
now, Llandovery.” to be a recipe for victories now and in
The FEI Children’s Jumper Finals at the future.
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