Katy, Texas, USA – April 05, 2023 – Nicolas Gamboa (COL) earned his second major win in as many days at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, this time topping the $25,000 Royal Sport Horses Grand Prix aboard NKH Mr. Darcy.
Manuel Esparza (MEX) set the track for the 29-entry class held on Wednesday, April 5, at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, TX, with 13 of those entries ultimately advancing to the jump-off. All 13 entries proved to be in it to win it, with several rounds ending in elimination or numerous rails as riders put the pedal to the metal.
Tessa Downey (USA) and Isabelle, owned by Horse Orchard LLC, were the first pair to produce a double-clear effort, and their time of 37.405 seconds would hold up for third place.
Allison Kroff (USA) and T-Quick Hurricane Z, owned by TC Sport Horses LLC, followed Downey in the jump-off order, and Kroff immediately took over the top of the leaderboard – and earned the eventual second-place finish – with a jump-off time of 34.593 seconds.
“With 13 clear, I was expecting a few more conservative rounds, but everybody really went for it,” said Gamboa, who blazed across the finish line in a winning 33.499 seconds. “I just stuck with my plan, trying to go for an efficient clear. I went ninth, and I knew there were a couple behind me that were quite quick. Mr. Darcy has always just done a fantastic job.”
Just one year ago, the 10-year-old Holsteiner stallion, owned by Neil Knox of NKH LLC, helped Gamboa earn his very first grand prix win, and in the time since then, the duo has notched an impressive list of accomplishments.
“NKH Mr. Darcy, that’s just been a fantastic horse for me,” said Gamboa, 22. “He’s given me so much confidence; he gives me confidence on other horses. I’m just so honored and grateful to have that ride. I have to say a very special moment for me was winning my first grand prix here at Pin Oak with him. He jumped a CSI3* out in California, and it was for sure the biggest track that I’ve ever jumped and one of the biggest tracks that he’s ever jumped. He’s always game. When that horse steps in the ring, he knows his job. If you can stay out of his way, you’re pretty much golden.”
Gamboa concluded, “I have to say thank you to everybody here – the entire team [at October Hill Farm and Heineking Show Stables], the whole barn, Neil Knox, the owner of Mr. Darcy.”
Gamboa will now set his sights on Friday night’s $50,000 Hildebrand Fund Grand Prix, the highlight event of Week II at the Pin Oak Charity Horse 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.
Final Results – $25,000 Royal Sport Horses Grand Prix
1) Nicolas Gamboa (COL) & NKH Mr. Darcy – 0 / 0 – 33.499
2) Allison Kroff (USA) & T-Quick Hurricane Z – 0 / 0 – 34.593
3) Tessa Downey (USA) & Isabelle – 0 / 0 – 37.405
Source: Press Release by Emily Randolph / Randolph PR for Great Southwest Equestrian Center
Photos: © GSWEC / Andrew Ryback Photography