Hunters Shine Even In The Rain At The Great Southwest Texas Winter Series

King Quidam ridden by Jessica Zienkevicz were champions in the 3’3”/3’6” Performance Working Hunters. Photo by Jerry Mohme Photography.

Katy, Texas

The second day of showing in Katy saw championships awarded in the Green and Performance Hunter divisions. A little mud didn’t stop King Quidam, owned by Hallie Ferguson and ridden by Jessica Zienkevicz, from wearing the champion tri-color in  the 3’3”/3’6” Performance Working Hunters.

The stunning Shy Boy was the Conformation Hunter Champion, piloted by Jordan Gilchrist and owned by Laura Hightower. Winning three out of the four jumping classes and also winning the Texas Super Stake, Shy Boy certainly wasn’t shy about showing off his amazing jumping form.

Shy Boy. Photo by Jerry Mohme Photography.

The 3’6”/3’9” Green Hunter champion was Casaletta, ridden by Jessica Law and owned by Linda Law. Jessica Law owns JNL Stables in Cypress, Texas and is a top competitor at the Texas Winter Series week after week.

Casaletta, ridden by Jessica Law and owned by Linda Law, was 3’6”/3’9” Green Hunter champion. Photo by Jerry Mohme Photography.

The lovely Breyer, no doubt named because he looks like a model horse, was the top in the Green Hunter 3’3”. His rider, Jessica Zienkevicz earned her second red, blue and yellow ribbon of the day. Breyer is owned by Cora Mcgowan of San Angelo, Texas and trained by Donna Cheney.

Breyer, ridden by Jessica Zienkevicz to the top rank in the 3’3″ Green Hunters. Photo by Jerry Mohme Photography.

Rounding out the champions in the professional divisions was Martin Gierlich, a newcomer to the hunter world. He arrived in the United States from Rhede, Germany on February, 6, 2020 with an invitation from Steve Weider to do some catch riding on the hunters Steve had showing at the GSTWS. Martin runs a stable in the Westfalen region of Germany and Weider has bought and imported many hunters from Martin. In Germany, Martin has only shown in the jumpers, so he was excited to try his hand at showing them in America.

Rhett, ridden by Martin Gierlich and owned by Steve Weder. Photo by Jerry Mohme Photography.

When asked about what he thought about the difference in showing a hunter versus a jumper, Gierlich said, “I never realized how hard it would be to make the rounds really smooth. Finding the same distance and keeping the same pace the whole way around the ring looked much easier than it really is. When I got to Steve’s on the Thursday before my first week of showing, I had a few rough jumps, but once I figured out exactly what I needed to do, I improved with every round.” And improve he did. In only his second week showing in the hunters, Gierlich was Champion on Rhett in the 3’ Green Hunters, a horse he sold to Steve Weider last fall.

Captain Jack, ridden by Martin Gierlich. Photo by Jerry Mohme Photography.

Gierlich was also Reserve Champion today on SWS Freda in the 3’3” Greens and won classes on almost all of his other rides, both last week and this week and he still has many more to show. Another young horse he sold to Weder is showing in the 3’3”/3’6 Performance hunters and they are both very excited about Captain Jack’s potential after great ribbons in his classes.

Showing in the hunters was so much fun for Gierlich that he is coming back in March to try his hand again at the Pin Oak Show Series. “I have 25 horses at home in Germany and as long as my wife is willing to handle the work at our farm, I will be back,” he said.

Damokles and Tom Foley in the awards presentation for the $25,000 Welcome Stake. Photo by Jerry Mohme Photography.

The jumpers will receive their championships tomorrow after an exciting day of showing, but tonight the big winner was Tom Foley on The Windwook Group’s Damokles who was the victor in the $20,000 Welcome Stake.

Stay in the loop of this year’s Texas Winter Series and Pin Oak Charity Horse Show with The Plaid Horse and by following #txwinterseries2020 on social media.

The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show runs from March 18-April 4, 2020. The prize list is available here

Get to know top Texas competitors with the Faces of Pin Oak series, including the 2019 Faces of Pin Oak riders:

Daniel Bedoya

Frankie Owens

Natalee Newton Haggan

Stay tuned for profiles on the 2020 Faces of Pin Oak riders, Peter Petschenig, Bella Kay, Daisy Ford, and Story Sinex.

The Texas Winter Series would like to thank our sponsors:

American National | Antares Sellier France | Augusta Pines Farm | Avalon Advisors | BBVA | Bernstein Private Wealth Management | BluVida Precision Health & Wellness | BNY Mellon Wealth Management  | Brazos Valley Equine Hospitals | Courtyard Marriott | De Cillo Equine Clinic | Equine Express NA | Fairway Farm | Finish Line Horse Products | H & H Event First Aid Services | Hampton Inn & Suites | Heather Ridge Farms | Homeland Title Co. | Jerry Mohme Photography | JK Videography | Karinda K. Equine Photography | Memorial Park Hunters | Moonfyre Photography | Oakside Stables | Oakwell Farms | Olde Oaks Farm | Olva Stewart Pharo | Pine Hollow Farm | Pyranha | Rendezvous Farm | Residence Inn Marriott | Sherwood Sport Horses | SHF Enterprises, Inc. | Sidelines | Texas Western Hospitality | TKO Sporthorses | Wheless Properties