“Its my first time here [at the Desert international Horse Park] but I will definitely be coming back.”

Jose Maria Quintana and Catoki Boy make quick work of their first time in the desert, claiming the top spot in the $100,000 FarmVet Grand Prix at Desert International Horse Park in Thermal, CA on Saturday Night.

Quintana knew it was going to be a fast jump off. With nine combinations returning for the speed round, he didn’t take off the gas.

“There were a lot of fast riders. I knew I had the winner. I just needed to stick to my plan and that’s what I did.”

Of his horse Catoki Boy, Quintana said, “I helped him but he helped me a lot.”

Jose Maria Quintana & Catoki Boy. Photo by Megan Giese

In a field of 47 combinations, course designer Manuel Esperanza created a tough track with only four horse and rider combinations going double clear. Quintana and Catoki Boy took the win in 43.82 seconds, just .142 seconds faster than second place finisher Karrie Ruffer and Mr. Europe.

After five years together, the relationship paid off. Quintana has been developing the Holsteiner stallion since he was seven years old. Now twelve, Quintana can’t say enough good things about his mount.

“He’s the horse of my life. I jumped my first 1.40m with him, my first Grand Prix with him. I won my first ranking class with him. We’ve come a long way.”

Twenty-year-old Quintana knows his horse well.

“He’s really easy to manage but he needs a little bit of blood. I need to make sure my leg is on all the time. That’s the way he likes it.”

When asked about how Catoki Boy performed tonight, Quintana lit up. “[Catoki Boy] left his heart out in the ring and I think it worked out for us.

“I am coming back in December for the holidays. My plan is to keep pushing.”

Jose Maria Quintana & Catoki Boy. Photo by Megan Giese

Don’t miss any of the action from the DIHP. The livestream can be found here.