Jess Cocks' course walking tips

jess cocks walks course at sydneyJess Cocks from Victoria competes at 2 star with her ex show hack Regal Royale (Levi) and at Introductory (EvA 80) on a young horse. She has been using CrossCountry ever since it was launched and sends us all her courses. We noticed how smooth and accurate they were so we asked Jess to give tips for our new users...

What advice would you give to a new user?

Take your time until you get used to using it. When adding a fence the app automatically pauses for you so add your jump take your photo then walk around to the back of the jump and press resume. There is no need to walk beside the jump as you had to with “the wheel”. CrossCountry measures the distance from the front to the back of the fence automatically.

Riders who never wheeled a course are starting to use minute markers for the first time. Any tips there?

My watch is always on count up. After using CrossCounty you would know where you have to be at at every minute therefore when your watch hits each minute it beeps at you & you can judge whether you are in front or behind your minutes.
I hit start on my watch when the starter says “10 seconds to go” just to make me a fraction behind on all my minutes. This just keeps me on my toes.
Any minutes that are open with a lot of galloping room you need to be in front of because when you get to a windy slow minute you need to have some spare time up your sleeve so you don’t incur any time faults.

Any good stories?jess cocks and levi

Every year at Avenal Horse Trials people always get time faults for going too fast in the Introductory section. Year after year I am caught out just like everyone else. Last year I took CrossCountry & recorded the Intro course so I wouldn’t get time faults for going too fast and I didn’t. CrossCountry worked brilliantly for me.

You measure close to the course designer's distance...

I usually walk my course twice so I would recommend using CrossCountry on your second walk so you know where you are going. If you don’t have time for two course walks if you make a mistake, don’t be afraid to use the erase feature, it works well. I walk my XC in gumboots so I actually walk through my water jumps for top accuracy but if you can’t walk through the water CrossCountry will measure the distance for you. Add your jump i.e: 8a then walk to the edge of the water on the exit side & press resume & CrossCountry will “Catch Up” with you.

What functions do you like best?

My favorite function is the swiping through the photo’s with the time listed at the bottom of each photo, so you can also run through your minute markers all at the same time. I also really like “Course Sharing” feature the ability to email courses to your friends. 

What about walking a course in the rain?

jess cocks quote

If it is raining I just hit start then put my phone in my pocket to keep it dry until we get to the jump. Then I add a jump and put it back in my pocket and so on.

How do you use the app before you ride?

I swipe through all photos to refresh my memory but then just look at the course in the map view and try to visualize my fences, the turns I need to make and the lines I have to take. If I can’t remember I refer back to the photos once again. At Melbourne International, which was our first CCI 2 star, I went over it in my head using CrossCountry several times on Saturday night.  I am very happy with how Levi and I handled the event.

Do you download courses from ? 

Yes. It is really interesting to see what courses our fellow riders have to tackle interstate and overseas.

How would you like to see CrossCountry app used?

I think that CrossCountry will be a great way for coaches to add comment on how they would ride the course/fence & give comment on the approach, the jump and the landing. This would help spectators and fellow riders understand what thoughts our top riders have about the challenge ahead. Note from CrossCountry: Check out Amanda Ross's guided course walk for the Friends of Werribee Prelim and Yogi Briesner's Grassroots at Badminton BE 100

Any new features you would like to see

I am 100% happy with CrossCountry and you will be too :)

Read more course walking tips from British Young Rider Coach Caroline Moore