Martien van der Hoeven and Sparky Start Pin Oak Strong with Win in $10,000 Bedoya Training Stables Welcome Stake

March 26, 2024 – Katy, TX – Martien van der Hoeven is no stranger to the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show’s winner’s circle – having competed at the US Equestrian Heritage Competition for more than 20 years – and he returned there again on Tuesday, March 26, after taking the victory in the $10,000 Bedoya Training Stables Welcome Stake aboard Sparky.

The class marked the start of the 78th edition of the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, which features three weeks of high-caliber hunter/jumper competition at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, TX.

On his way to kicking off Week I with a win, van der Hoeven was one of nine entries to traverse the first-round course without fault. From there, Van der Hoeven and Sparky were both the first and the fastest over the short course designed by Manuel Esparza (MEX), stopping the clock in an uncatchable 33.664 seconds.

Finishing in second place with a jump-off time of 35.757 seconds were Allison Kroff and T-Quick Hurricane Z, owned by TC Sport Horses LLC. Third place with a time of 26.983 seconds went to Diego Bedoya and Casamigos, owned by NRG Farm, LLC.

Martien van der Hoeven was presented as the winner of the $10,000 Bedoya Training Stables Welcome Stake. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Also taking home a win on Tuesday was Kaydence Cothran aboard Onslow, owned by Cool Kid Farms. The duo finished sixth overall in the $10,000 Bedoya Training Stables Welcome Stake, and, as the highest-placing under 25 rider, Cothran earned the win in the $5,000 U25 Welcome Stake, sponsored by Fairway Farm and held concurrently.

For many of the riders in Tuesday’s Welcome Stake, including van der Hoeven, it was a warm-up for what’s to come at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show.

“Sparky is a 9-year-old, owned by the Myers family in San Antonio,” said van der Hoeven of the Hanoverian gelding owned by Myers Family Investments, LLC. “Normally, he competes in the High Junior Jumpers with their daughter, Ava. For this horse – being young – I think it’s still beneficial that he competes and that he practices going fast. [Ava] comes [Wednesday] to do the $25,000 Grand Prix along with the Under 25 Grand Prix. Today’s plan was to use this as a warm-up for her and make sure he’s in the ring, comfortable, forward and ready to go.”

Allison Kroff and T-Quick Hurricane Z. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

In speaking of Sparky, van der Hoeven added, “He’s just such a modern sport horse. He does everything right; he knows where the jumps are and knows how to go fast. The balance is always good regardless of any speed. He is just truly a horse that can do today’s sport; we’re hoping at even a much higher level.”

Also earning wins in Tuesday’s featured jumper classes were the following:

  • 1.10m Training Jumpers, sponsored by Grange/Johnson Development – Reagan Mientka and Cality
  • 1.15m Open Jumpers, sponsored by Cokinos Young Law Firm – Lindsay Bedoya and Jumping VG King
  • 1.20m Open Jumpers, sponsored by Truist Bank – Andres Hernandez and My Lady Blue
  • 1.35m Open Jumpers, sponsored by Moor Insights & Strategy – Stephanie Tropia and CR Integrity

Competition at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show continues on Wednesday, March 27, with highlights of Week I including a $30,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on Thursday, March 28, and the $30,000 Texas Children’s Grand Prix on Friday, March 29, beginning at 7 p.m.