A testimonial from Ashley McCaughan, DVM of California

We know that traveling is challenging right now, which is making horse shopping a little difficult for folks wanting to purchase a new horse. We wanted to take a moment to share one of our success stories of one recent buyer who purchased her horse based on our recommendation without being able to see him or meet us in person until the horse arrived in the USA. 

We also want to share with you new photos of our latest import, Excel Star Eye Candy. We’re very excited about this one and are happy to  provide references for others that have purchased horses from videos … it’s not as uncommon as you think and we are happy to stand behind the horses 100%!

From Ashley McCaughan, DVM of California:
My horse buying journey began in late 2019. My goal was simple: to ride at Prelim by age 40 (I will be 38 in 2 weeks). I am an amateur event rider who has ridden other people’s horses for the last 30 years—it was time to buy my own.

Where does one start looking? I called around and talked with a few local contacts. I looked on the internet at horses for sale—Canada, Southeastern US—I was open to anything. I saw a nice 7-year-old for sale and emailed the owner/trainer, Courtney Cooper. And so began an educational journey  which led to the purchase of a 4-year-old Irish Sport Horse, that I had never ridden or seen in person, purchased off a video.

A few things about Courtney are noticeably exceptional: if you write her, she replies promptly.  If you call, she calls you back. Her communication is excellent. And it has to be. While the horse I had seen in the ad had already sold, Courtney offered to look for a horse for me on her next trip to Ireland, a few days away. I had never contemplated buying a young horse, let alone an imported young horse.  She was going anyway, so there was no pressure. I was interested in learning more …

Courtney explained why it might make sense for me: good quality was more affordable at a young age. (The horse I wanted existed, but was not in my budget domestically or internationally.) The horses she was sourcing were of sound mind, excellent movers and jumped effortlessly. They would be able to help me achieve my goal. 

I took Courtney at her word—but I didn’t really need to. She connected me to several clients who had recently (and not so recently) purchased horses from her. They were all satisfied with the process and the resulting purchases.

Courtney rode the horses, and sent me videos of the ones she liked. I watched video after video of youngsters free jumping, being ridden under saddle in the yards of Ireland. I liked many of them, and one in particular.

Courtney made the process easy and fun. I became comfortable with the uncertainty of buying an import that I hadn’t sat on. I trusted in the process, and in Courtney’s ability to match me with a quality horse that I would get along with. To ease the transition between Ireland and my home in CA, I asked Courtney to keep him for 3 months. In that short time, he progressed remarkably: jumping around a novice level cross-country and stadium course. 

I flew to Aiken to meet Courtney and to ride 4-year-old Temple for the first time. The 4-day trip solidified for me that Courtney and her team are the real-deal. Temple carried me around a novice course, doing his job smartly. His temperament was solid and calm, so much so, I often forgot I was sitting on a young horse.

Courtney and her crew are the real-deal: Hard-working, transparent, honest and kind. I feel lucky to have worked with Courtney and I look forward to the journey ahead for Excel Star Briarhill Temple. 

Excel Star Eye Candy: 2015 16.2h chestnut Belgian Warmblood gelding
By Arezzo VDL out of Queen Z

This lovely young horse has both evented and horse showed overseas, and is here in Aiken. He has a good lead change, is easy to ride and could certainly be produced by a junior or amateur. He’s a quality young horse that is quiet in every way. He has enough quality and scope to go onto the upper levels in eventing, the hunters or the jumpers and is certainly classy enough for a professional.

Located in Aiken, SC. To learn more: https://excelstarsporthorses.com/sales/excel-star-eye-candy/. Contact Courtney today at [email protected] or (610) 952 – 5347, or here on Instagram/Facebook.

Excel Star Eye Candy