Katy, TX – Nicolas Gamboa went three-for-three on major jumper victories during Week II of the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show in Katy, TX, capping off his impressive week with a win aboard NKH Mr. Darcy in the $50,000 Hildebrand Fund Grand Prix on Friday, April 7.
Five entries from the 25-horse starting field qualified for the jump-off in Friday night’s featured class, and Gamboa and NKH Mr. Darcy were the final pair to return for the Manuel Esparza-designed short course.
When they entered the Porter Hedges Main Arena, the time to beat had been set at 38.610 seconds by Australia’s Rowan Willis and his own Wellington Grey Goose. That time, however, was no match for Gamboa and NKH Mr. Darcy. With lightning-fast foot speed, slick turns and an impressive leave-out of a stride, the duo flew across the finish in 35.506 seconds for the win.
With Gamboa taking the win, second place went to Willis, and Savannah Hemby and Juju VDM finished in third with a double-clear time of 40.219 seconds.
“That was truly incredible!” said Gamboa following the jump-off. “I was a little rough in the first round, but my horse covered all of my mistakes and just jumped great. In the jump-off, there were some fast riders in there. I gave it a go, and I have to say, I for sure got a bit lucky. He jumped amazing…He was just ready to go today. When I left those jumps up, and he came down [over the final fence], I knew he had that class today. That was just a great feeling.”
Gamboa has been partnered with NKH Mr. Darcy, a 10-year-old Holsteiner owned by Neil Knox of NKH LLC, for a little over a year, and it was only a year ago at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show that the stallion helped Gamboa clinch his first grand prix win. Now, Gamboa and NKH Mr. Darcy are consistently a force to be reckoned with.
“It’s just been an incredible partnership; it’s one in a million for me,” said Gamboa of his relationship with NKH Mr. Darcy. “I’m just so thankful there. I’ve never had such a feeling where you can just walk in and know that the horse wants it just as bad as you do.”
With victories in the $15,000 Bedoya Training Stables 1.45m Open Jumper Welcome Stake and the $25,000 Royal Sport Horses Grand Prix earlier this week – aboard Dreamgirl 22 and NKH Mr. Darcy, respectively, Gamboa will now set his sights on the finale event of the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show: the $100,000 Third Coast Bank Grand Prix on Saturday, April 15.
Running through April 16 at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, TX, the 77th Pin Oak Charity Horse Show features top hunter, jumper and equitation competition while benefitting the Texas Children’s Hospital.
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About the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show
Recognized as a US Equestrian Heritage Competition, the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show is one of the oldest and most prestigious horse shows in the United States, and today the show features three weeks of top hunter/jumper competition at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, TX.
Founded by J.S. Abercrombie in 1945, it’s also a unique social and fundraising event. Since making the very first donation to Texas Children’s in 1947 to begin the planning and building of the hospital, the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show has continued its legacy of giving, now having donated nearly $7 million to the renowned medical institution.