Event Rider, based in Merritt, British Columbia, Canada



Dana Cooke

(Photo by kind permission of "Pics of You")

Horses have always been a part of my life!  I guess you could say that I’ve been riding since I could walk, and that I couldn’t imagine a life without horses.  I've enjoyed many apsects of riding - both in and out of competition: I have been a member of B.C. Little Britches Rodeo, running poles and barrels; an 'A' Level Graduate of the Canadian Pony Club; started and trained several horses, and helped with cattle turn out and range riding. My love and passion, though, is EVENTING. Coming from the rural community of Merritt , British Columbia, Canada, I was extremely fortunate to have two fabulous coaches. With the guidance of my first coach, Anita Orton, who gave me the basics that I needed to become a good rider and with my second coach, Lynne Larsen, who helped to develop my confidence as a rider and as a person, I have been able to accomplish many of my goals.  Both women have given me their unconditional support and encouragement throughout the years, and because of their commitment and belief in me, I feel I will eventually be able to attain my ultimate goal of riding for Canada.

Over the past years, I have had several clinical opportunities to learn from some of the best Canadian riders:  Rebecca Howard, Michael Winters, Bruce Mandeville, Stuart Black, Kyle Carter, Nick Holmes-Smith, Karen Brain, Chelan Kozak, and Joni Lynn Peters.  I have also had lessons and clinics from some of the world's best riders/coaches: Jimmy Wofford, Captain Mark Phillips, Leslie Law, David O'Connor, Silva Martin and Diane Ritz.

Coming to the East Coast - I'm almost 3,000 miles from home!!

I had heard so much about Rebecca Howard from other working students and members of Horse Trials B.C. ; I didn't hesitate sending Rebecca my resume. So, after grooming for my long-time good friend, Stephanie Rhodes-Bosch , at the 2008 NAJYRCs - at 20 years old, I made the long trek by myself from Colorado to The Fork Stables in Norwood, North Carolina. My time with Rebecca and The Fork was so amazing, that I knew I had made the right decision to move away from the province and family that I loved, to pursue my dream!

After my year as a working student, I was offered a position at Dream Catcher Equestrian, in Mathews, North Carolina. I remained there until the Spring 2010. The Doolittle family was incredibly good to me and I appreciate all that they had provided for me, however, when The Fork Stables and Rebecca asked me back to be their Assistant Equestrian Director, I jumped at the opportunity.

  • Assistant Equestrian Director at The Fork Stables and Rebecca Howard's 'right hand person' (Rebecca is a short listed rider for the Canadian Olympic and Pan Am Team; competed at the 2010 WEGs)
  • Certified Level 1 Canadian Coach since 2007
  • Certificate in Advanced Farrier Training from Kwantlen University College, graduating at the top of my class (2006 to 2007); apprenticing with some of the best farriers in Canada
  • Canadian Pony Club Level 'A' (2006) and CPC graduate (2008)
  • Horse Trials BC - BC Young Rider Representative and committee member (2004 to 2008)
World Premiere
he's a dark bay 11 year old thoroughbred gelding that I purchased from Doug Payne . Doug was competing Indy at the Intermediate Level. I started competing Preliminary, and completed our first CCI* in May 2010, and moved up to Intermediate in the Fall of 2010 (finishing 4th at Southern Pines and 2nd at Poplar Place - both ending on our dressage scores!!). I am so excited about riding this fabulous horse - he's brave, honest and loves his job.
2011 -     October Fairhill International 3-day event CCI**
2012 -     Advanced, CIC*** The Fork HT CCI***, Bromont 3-day event, Quebec, London Olypmics

he's an 8 year old chestnut gelding that I had bought as a 4 year old. Sunny made the move with me to The Fork Stables in 2008. He has spent the past year in the dressage world (competing at 2nd level and schooling at 3rd level) and has returned to Eventing. Presently, he competes at the Training Level and will be upgraded to Preliminary this spring.
2011 -     Preliminary at Southern Pines HT and The Fork HT
Rosalind Behenna and NEDDYS have been my sponsor for over 7 years, starting when I was a B.C. Young Rider. I'm very fortunate to have been recognised, encouraged and supported at such an early start to my career. Thank you for creating such a wonderful product to endorse and for being my sponsor!

Photographs shown are by kind permission of ROBIN DUNCAN - thank you.

Dana Cooke