By Emily Randolph/Randolph PR
Katy, TX – The 76th-annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show opened on Wednesday, March 23, attracting top hunter and jumper riders from across the country to the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, TX, for three weeks of competition, running March 23 – April 10, 2022.
Among the first-day winners were Daniel Bedoya and Caylee PCH in the 1.25m Open Jumpers, Nicolas Gamboa and Dreamgirl 22 in the 1.40m Open Jumpers, and Shawn Casady and Ekstra MF in the 1.35m Open Jumpers.
On their way to the win, Casady and Ekstra MF, owned by Rabbit Root Stables, LLC, were one of 16 entries to contest the Manuel Esparza-designed track. Of the 16 horses, 12 advanced to the jump-off for a race against the clock, with Casady turning in the winning time of 31.276 seconds.
Second place with a time of 32.251 seconds went to Frank Owens and Just Jeremy ES, owned by DS Holdings LLC. Rounding the top three after stopping the clock in 32.663 seconds were Nicolas Gamboa and Contan, owned by October Hill Farm.
For Casady, the victory marks a great return to the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, after having been away from the horse show for nearly a decade.
“It’s great here; it’s a good change of scenery,” said Casady, 27, who is currently based in California. “I’ve always been friends with a lot of these people down here because they travel quite a bit as well. I see Christian [Heineking] a lot out in California. I grew up seeing Martien [van der Hoeven] and Matt [Cyphert] and all those guys in Kentucky and all of that. So, it’s nice to be here and see everybody on their home turf! The footing’s great in the ring, and it’s a horse-focused venue, so it’s pretty user-friendly. The horses seem to like it; they’re comfortable here.”
Casady is also getting comfortable with Ekstra MF after just partnering with the 8-year-old Selle Français stallion in January of this year.
“I’m really, really looking forward to continuing to work with him,” said Casady. “He is probably one of the most athletic horses that I’ve ever ridden just all around. He’s scopey, light on his feet, has the stride; he just has all of those pieces. It’s a cool feeling. He felt super confident and rideable today – exactly how I wanted him to ride.”