Nicolas Gamboa Gets it Done Again in $25,000 EPIC Sporthorses Grand Prix at Pin Oak Charity Horse Show

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Nicolas Gamboa and NKH Mr. Darcy. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Edited Press Release

April 5, 2024 – Katy, TX – For two years in a row, the win in the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show’s Week II $25,000 Grand Prix had gone to Nicolas Gamboa, and on Thursday, April 4, the 23-year-old made it a three-peat, again topping the $25,000 EPIC Sporthorses Grand Prix aboard NKH Mr. Darcy.

As the already two-time winners of the class, Gamboa and NKH Mr. Darcy were a favorite to win it again – but they were not without stiff competition. Thirty-one entries took on the class, with the starting field whittled down to nine to jump-off over the short course designed by Oscar Soberon.

When Gamboa returned to the Main Ring at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center, the time to beat had been set at a competitive 38.022 seconds by Mexico’s Andres Torres Hernandez and Vivant Comedy PS. Aside from Hernandez, only one other rider had broken the 40-second mark, but Gamboa made short work of it. He and NKH Mr. Darcy cleared the final Pin Oak vertical in 36.570 seconds to take the win.

In addition to the overall victory, Gamboa and NKH Mr. Darcy were presented as the winners of the $10,000 Underwood Ranch U25 Grand Prix held simultaneously.

Nicolas Gamboa and NKH Mr. Darcy were presented as the winners of the $25,000 EPIC Sporthorses Grand Prix. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Finishing in second place overall was Hernandez, while third place – and second place in the U25 Grand Prix – went to Genevieve Munson who stopped the jump-off clock in 38.203 seconds aboard her own Zonderling.

“When I walked the course, I did a quick walk of the jump-off, and I thought it was pretty straightforward of what to do,” said Gamboa, who rides for October Hill Farm. “There weren’t many options…it was kind of just how you rode your track and sticking to the plan. [NKH Mr. Darcy] has been very good to me. I’ve gotten to know him quite well over the past few years, and we just stuck to our plan and showed how good he is today.” 

It was aboard the 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding, owned by Neil Knox of NKH LLC, that Gamboa got his first ever grand prix win at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show just two years, and Gamboa and NKH Mr. Darcy have amassed numerous wins since then – including now winning Thursday’s class for three years in a row. 

Of their consistency, Gamboa said, “I think NKH Mr. Darcy was just developed well right from the get-go. He really knows everything that you could do. He’s been with [October Hill Farm] for quite some time, since he was quite a young horse. When I got the ride on him a few years ago, he was pretty much already there at the top level, and I was very fortunate to get that ride. We’ve just continued improving and getting better and better the both of us.”

Andres Torres Hernandez and Vivant Comedy PS finished in second place. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Now, Gamboa will set his sights on Saturday night’s $50,000 R-C Ranch Grand Prix, and beyond that, the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show’s finale event, the $100,000 Hildebrand Fund Grand Prix.

“I have a great group of horses here, [NKH Warrior, NKH Vittorio S and NKH Mr. Darcy],” said Gamboa. “All three of them are going to do the Saturday and then kind of pick and choose and see how we do this week. We’re aiming at the $100,000 during Week III and trying to produce some good results. Obviously, we’ll go day by day and do what’s best for the horses but aim for the win.”

For full results from Thursday’s Grand Prix, click here or visit HorseShowsOnline.com.

Competition at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show continues through Sunday, April 14, with highlights of Week II including the $50,000 R-C Ranch Grand Prix on Saturday, April 6, beginning at 7 p.m. 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. Today, the show features three weeks of top-caliber hunter/jumper events and one week of breed show competition at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, TX.

Click to hear from Nicolas Gamboa following his win in the $25,000 EPIC Sporthorses Grand Prix!