Vivant Comedy PS and Andres Torres Hernandez Finish Pin Oak Strong with Victory in $100,000 Hildebrand Fund Grand Prix

104
Andres Torres Hernandez was joined in his winning presentation by Great Southwest Equestrian Center owner Jeffrey Hildebrand (pictured second from right). Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Edited Press Release

April 14, 2024 – Katy, TX – Andres Torres Hernandez has had self-described “up-and-down” results throughout the 2024 Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, but he and Vivant Comedy PS finished the three weeks with the show’s highest possible “up”: victory in the finale $100,000 Hildebrand Fund Grand Prix.

On Saturday, April 13, in an exciting conclusion to open jumper competition at the 78th annual show in Katy, TX, 18 entries took on the 1.50m course designed by Bernardo Costa Cabral. In front of an enthusiastic crowd, that technical track with a tight time allowed narrowed the field down to five to return for the jump-off. 

“The most important thing, I think, was the time allowed,” said Hernandez, referencing the first round that saw three riders jump clear only to finish with time faults. “I was last in the first round, and I saw many guys with time faults, so I was thinking, ‘I need to go fast in the first round!’ I think that was the most difficult part in the first round.”

Andres Torres Hernandez and Vivant Comedy PS. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Once through to the jump-off at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center, speed was still very much the name of the game. Frequent Pin Oak grand prix victor Nicolas Gamboa was the first to return, and he and NKH Vittorio S sped over the course in 33.114 seconds but with one rail down, leaving the door open for the remaining contenders. 

Genevieve Munson and Natalee Haggan each also saw one rail fall before Gamboa returned again, this time aboard his winningest mount, NKH Mr. Darcy. With the NKH, LLC-owned gelding, Gamboa showed a clear round was possible, stopping the clock in 35.446 seconds to take over the lead and to put the pressure on for Hernandez. 

And Hernandez rose to the occasion. The Mexico-based rider and Vivant Comedy PS flew over the final Hilcorp Energy Company oxer in 33.448 seconds to secure the win and to give spectators a thrilling ending to a great night of competition.

Andres Torres Hernandez was joined at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show by much of his family. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

“I feel great. This has been an amazing, amazing day,” said Hernandez. “To finish like this is just amazing.”

Hernandez has been partnered with his winning mount, his own 9-year-old Oldenburg mare Vivant Comedy PS, for the past four years, and he has been carefully producing her throughout that time. 

“She just started doing the grand prix this year,” said Hernandez of the mare who also turned in a clear round in the Pin Oak Week II $50,000 R-C Ranch Grand Prix. “She’s just amazing. We love her. We love her in the barn.” 

For Hernandez, winning with Vivant Comedy PS at Pin Oak is extra special, as much of his family – including his wife, kids, parents and sisters – was able to be there with him.

Nicolas Gamboa and NKH Mr. Darcy finished in second place. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

“In Mexico, sometimes I have to go alone [to shows] or just with my wife,” concluded Hernandez. “I like a lot being here at Pin Oak. The footing is really good. All of the people have been very nice. I like also that all my family can be here with me because we’re all together. That’s the main thing I like here – that we can be all together.”

For full results of the $100,000 Hildebrand Fund Grand Prix, click here.

Saturday’s grand prix marked the concluding weekend at the 2024 Pin Oak Charity Horse Show. To learn more about the US Equestrian Heritage Competition, visit www.PinOak.org.

Click to watch an interview with Andres Torres Hernandez.