Katy, TX – Jacqueline Ruyle continues to be a dominating force at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, this time aboard a newer partner, Etoile de la Cem. The duo earned the win in Wednesday’s $15,000 Fairway Farm 1.45m Welcome Stake to kick off Week III of the 77th-annual show at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, TX.
Ruyle and the 9-year-old Selle Français mare were one of 18 entries to take on the Bernardo Costa Cabral-designed course in the Porter Hedges Main Arena. When they entered the ring, the jump-off time to beat had been set at a clear 37.130 seconds by Savannah Hemby and her own Paddington. With a knack for well-maneuvering Costa Cabral’s courses on her side, Ruyle flew through the finish in a winning 36.006 seconds. Hemby would hold on to second place, while third place with a time of 37.648 seconds went to Leah Curtiss and Fortuna, owned by Oakside LLC.
“Bernardo [Costa Cabral] is my absolute favorite course designer,” said Ruyle, who trains with Bedoya Training Stables. “I wish I could just follow him around the country and jump his courses because I just love the way he sets! All of his courses ride so fun. Everything just flows, and the technicality doesn’t make the ride choppy. All of the jumps always appear nicely out of the corner. There’s nothing trappy.”
Etoile de la Cem also seems to have taken nicely to Costa Cabral’s courses – and to being partnered with Ruyle. The Houston-based rider acquired Etoile de la Cem – or “Debbie” as she is known in the barn – roughly six months ago, and they have been starting to move up the ranks since then. During Pin Oak Week II, Ruyle successfully moved Debbie up from the amateurs to the open jumper level for the first time, finishing in second place in the $15,000 Bedoya Training Stables Welcome Stake.
“I would say during the winter circuit [in Florida] is when we really started meshing,” explained Ruyle, who describes the mare’s style of going as “unique.” “We were playing around with different bits and bridles and how she goes. We started really hitting it off, and then when we came home, we worked on what we thought we needed to work on. We came here, and we nailed it. It’s been great.”
Ruyle continued, “She has a very unique style of going. Over little jumps, she jumps with as little effort as possible. You jump 1.10m, and you think okay, ‘Maybe she can jump 1.15m max.’ Then you jump 1.15m, and you think, ‘Maybe she can jump 1.20m.’ She just keeps going and going. As the jumps get bigger, she jumps better and better, and I think she has even more in the tank and is going to be a superstar.”
Ruyle has proven to be a superstar in her own right at Pin Oak, most recently earning the win in the Week I $30,000 Texas Children’s Hospital Grand Prix aboard Cyramo Z.
For full results of the $15,000 Fairway Farm 1.45m Welcome Stake, click here or visit HorseShowsOnline.com.