Katy, TX –Nico Gamboa and Dreamgirl 22 kicked off Week II of the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show with a win in the $15,000 1.45m Open Jumper Welcome Stake, sponsored by Bedoya Training Stables, on Tuesday, April 4, at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, TX.
Gamboa and Dreamgirl 22 were the second entry to contest the track set in the Porter Hedges Main Arena by renowned course designer Michel Vaillancourt. As the first pair to jump clear to advance to the jump-off, Gamboa and Dreamgirl 22’s short-course time of 44.497 seconds would prove uncatchable through the remainder of the class.
Finishing in a close second place with a time of 44.640 seconds were Jacqueline Ruyle and her own Etoile de la Cem. Third place went to Tessa Downey who stopped the clock in 44.845 seconds aboard Horse Orchard LLC’s Isabelle.
“She just jumped her heart out tonight,” said Gamboa of Dreamgirl 22, a 12-year-old Holsteiner mare owned by Myers Family Investments. “She has her own style, and she’s just a good horse. Ava [Myers] has competed her in a couple of grand prix and done quite well. I got the ride on her last week and this week. She’s just a cool horse. She’s got such a big stride – so much scope and so much stride. She just eats up those lines.
“Today she was super,” continued Gamboa, 22, who was also named the winner of the $5,000 U25 Welcome Stake held concurrently. “I made my plan when I walked and stuck with that plan. In the jump-off, she did one less to the final oxer, and I think that’s where she won the class. She did five down to the last and everyone else did six.”
Gamboa is no stranger to success at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show and was named one of the 2023 “Faces of Pin Oak” after having earned multiple grand prix wins at the 2022 Pin Oak Charity Horse Show. As an assistant rider and trainer at October Hill Farm and Heineking Show Stables, Gamboa remains busy competing and training numerous mounts throughout the show.
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. To learn more, visit www.PinOak.org.
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. To learn more, visit www.PinOak.org.