California college student David Koss, 19, of Hailey, is competing at the top level of the challenging equestrian sport called eventing. He was a winning competitor at the Ram Tap event April 13-15 in Fresno, Ca.
Koss, in his first year of riding full time, competed at Ram Tap on two horses at the top adult level, advanced. He finished first on 11-year-old English thoroughbred import Ben Cruise and third on 12-year-old thoroughbred mare Candy.
It was only the second start at the advanced level for Koss.
Consisting of three disciplines, three-day eventing is an equestrian sport resembling a triathlon. The first day is dressage, judged in an arena showing the abilities, training and harmony of horse and rider.
The second day is cross country, which consists of speed, endurance and jumping large single and combinations of solid obstacles over varied terrain. And the third day is show jumping over rails.
All this is done on the same horse that has never seen the course but relies on the rider.
Ben Cruise and Koss took the lead in cross country and held on for the blue ribbon despite dislodging one rail in show jumping—but no one else had a clean round in the finale.
Koss attended Hemingway Elementary School in Ketchum and The Community School in Sun Valley before graduating in 2006 from Hawaii Preparatory School (HPA) in Hawaii.
A freshman in business at Santa Clara University near San Jose, Ca., Koss has his horse at a boarding barn 40 minutes south of campus so he can train and compete while going to the university. He juggles studying and training with his mother, Vicky Koss.
This summer, David will continue practicing at the Koss barn in Hailey and compete in several West Coast events.