Spruce Meadows is a right of passage for any serious young rider. Just ask Mimi Gochman (USA).

“I’ve been watching the Spruce Meadows Nations’ Cup in the fall for a long time. I’ve always heard stories about it. I’ve seen clips online and always been told ‘You have to go to Spruce Meadows,'” said the 18 year-old.

On Thursday, the two-time North American Youth Championships individual gold medalist (2019 & 2021) and 2022 Youth Equestrian Games double gold medalist added a win at the iconic venue to her already impressive resume.

It’s her career first 5* victory.

Gochman was one of 22 starters to contest Olaf Petersen’s 1.55m track in CSI5* The Kubota Cup. The lineup featured a pack of proven partnerships, including Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Hamilton, Kent Farrington (USA) and Landon, Conor Swail (IRL) and Nadal Hero & DB, and Rowan Willis (AUS) and Blue Movie.

But Gochman alone was able to crack the code for a clear round.

Riding the 13-year-old Holsteiner mare, Celina BH, she navigated the 13 obstacles (16 jumping efforts) track fault-free, crossing the finish line in 87.55 seconds. Swail took the runner up position with a single time fault in 90.24s. Mario Deslauriers (CAN) and Emerson finished third with four faults in 85.84s.

The win is the latest of many for Celina BH and Gochman. Partnered since 2019, the pair has jumped to 18 podium finishes, including 10 wins, according to Jumpr App, though primarily at the 1.45m height. In five years, they’ve amassed 236,498 euros in career earnings. Thursday’s class marks their first 1.55m win.

Suffice it to say, Gochman is glad she and Celina BH made the trek to Calgary, AB.

“[I] couldn’t be more grateful for the best partner ever, but also for my amazing team for making special moments like this happen!! [sic]” wrote Gochman on Instagram.