Twenty-eight-year-old equestrian rider Dana Cooke, formerly of Merritt, has been enjoying considerable success competing in the United States.
This past weekend, she rode three of her young, up-and-coming horses to top-10 placings at the Virginia Horse Trials in Lexington.
Two weeks ago, Cooke — who is married and living in Mooresville, North Carolina — rode her eight-year-old gelding Forever Young to 20th place in the CIC Two-Star division at the Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Horse Trials in Allentown, N.J.
The Jersey Fresh event received worldwide coverage as a result of a fatality during the competition. Philippa Humphreys, 33, a British citizen living in Michigan, was killed when her horse caught his feet on a table jump and sommersaulted, throwing Humphreys to the ground.
Cooke’s result at Jersey Fresh has qualified her to compete at one of the world’s top international horse trials in Bromont, Quebec from June 9 to 12.
Cooke was born and raised in the Nicola Valley, graduated from Merritt Secondary School, and was a longtime member of the local Pony Club.
At the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, and at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England, Cooke was a groom for the Canadian three-day event equestrian team.