Jules Batters & Cooley O Take A New Route to Rebecca Farm
Jules Ennis Batters and her 14-year-old Anglo European Sporthorse, Cooley O, aren’t newcomers to the Event at Rebecca Farm. In fact, Jules and her top competitive partner have twice made the long haul from the East Coast to Montana, competing in the CCI4* divisions in 2019 and 2021.
Each of those years, Jules and her husband Sam have shared in the driving during the two-day haul to Montana. Taking in in excess of 40 hours behind the wheel, they have managed by alternating 5-hour shifts in the driver’s seat. In addition, they also make arrangements to leave their farm for two weeks, arriving early at Rebecca Farm to give Cooley O time to acclimate after the long trip out west.
This year they will be taking a new route to Rebecca Farm.
As recipients of the CCI4* Ocala Horse Properties Rebecca Farm Flight Grant, Jules Batter’s Cooley O will join the CCI3* recipient Brittany Crandall’s Cooley Almighty, on a chartered flight departing from Charlotte, North Carolina.
Jules Ennis Batters is originally from the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her mother, Kristina Ennis, managed a riding school in the area, and acquired Ennisbrook Farm, in Queensboro, Maryland in 2000. Like many other event riders, Jules grew up with the riding bug, training with Kim Severson and Mogie Bearden Muller during her high school years and upon returning from college.
After graduating from high school, Jules took an unconventional route with her education, moving to England to attend Hartpury College for an intensive 3-year BS degree in Equestrian Sport Science. The program also offered incredible facilities and access to top trainers, such as Nick Burton and Corrine Bracken. It was there that Jules took a deep dive into understanding the scientific side of equine and human athletes.
In 2013, while Jules was in college at Hartpury, she purchased Cooley O, as a 5 year old, from Richard Sheane at Cooley Farms. “Oaken” had finished 17th out of 65 entries at 7-year-old championships Osberton, England. During this time Jules was based with US rider and future 2016 Rio Olympic Equestrian team member, Clark Montgomery, at his training yard in England. Jules and Oaken competed through the 3* level in Europe, and moved up to the Advanced level once they were back in the states.
While in England, Jules also met her future husband, Sam Batters. Sam grew up riding as well, competing through the equivalent of the Preliminary level in England. When they returned to the states in 2015 after graduation, Sam became an integral part of Jules’ professional career in the horse industry. In 2018 they purchased Ennisbrook Farm from Jules’ parents, with Sam remaining as a business partner and facility manager. The couple runs a busy facility with approximately 18 horses and riders in training, and they have an adorable 5 year old daughter, Chloe, who of course enjoys riding her pony Finney!
During their 2019 trip to Rebecca Farm, Jules and Oaken had a fantastic run, finishing 5th in the CCI4*S. Since then, they have continued to compete at the FEI levels, with top 5 finishes at the Intermediate and Advanced levels at Pine Top OI, Fair Hill International CCI4-S, and The Maryland International OI. In 2021, at their CCI 4*L appearance at Rebecca Farm event, Jules had a fall at the 10th fence on cross country.
After a few falls this past season, Jules admits that it has impacted her confidence. For that reason, they are choosing to compete this year in the CCI4*S.
Jules now trains with Lillian Heard, who is based adjacent at Boyd and Silva Martin’s Windurra USA, in Cochranville, PA. Lillian has been increasing Jules’ confidence by simplifying her flat work and having her increase her XC training and competition frequency.
“Lillian is fantastic at really simplifying my riding on the flat and over fences, and fine-tuning small things which have a great impact on the whole picture. She is very welcoming and easy to communicate with, which makes asking for help and having conversations less daunting,” Jules said.
Coming off their recent 3rd place finish in the Advanced Division at the Horse Park of New Jersey, they feel ready for their upcoming departure for the Event at Rebecca Farm!
We also asked Jules how winning the 4* grant will impact this year’s competition schedule and her future training goals.
“The past 12 months have been a little rough,” she said. “We went back to Intermediate to work on my nerves during competition, and I’m hoping this trip will set me back on the path towards the goal of a 4*L in the near future.” At the moment I’m focusing on being more competitive at the 4* level. Ideally, I’d like to move up to 5*, but I’m just focusing on one step at a time.”
With true appreciation in her voice, Jules signed off by stating, “Rebecca Farm is my favorite event. If it wasn’t for the Ocala Horse Properties’ grant, and my family jumping in to take care of our daughter and the farm, I couldn’t do this!”
The Team at Ocala Horse Properties is equally as grateful to be able to provide this grant, in coordination with the USEA, to deserving riders. We are looking forward to cheering for Jules, Brittany Crandall and all the other competitors when we are on location at the Event at Rebecca Farm!
To follow all the action from The Event at Rebecca Farm, July 20th – 24th, please visit her website here, or follow the event on Instagram and Facebook @rebeccafarm.
To learn more about Jules Ennis Eventing at Ennisbrook Farm, please visit their website here, or follow her on social @jules.ennis.