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It’s Amateur Night in Puebla

©FEI/Rodrigo Ceceña

Just one.

Sometimes that’s all the horse power it takes to achieve your career aspirations in the ring. For Mexican amateur rider Jose Alberto Martinez Vazquez that horse is Quinley.

It’s a partnership that began when the Holsteiner gelding was just four years old and took his 34-year-old rider/owner to the Herning World Championships in 2022.

“Quinley means everything to me. I’ve never had a horse like him before,” Martinez reflected on the special bond he shares with the 15-year-old grey.

“It was kind of lucky how he came into the family, and we’ve now had 11 years with him. We know each other perfectly. That’s what brings us together to get good results.”

Among those good results are 17 international podium finishes, including a second place finish in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Puebla in 2022. On Saturday, the veteran partners did one better at the Quintas Ecuestres, logging their biggest win yet and first-ever Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ victory in Puebla, Mexico.

Competing against a field of 25 athletes, Marina Azevedo (BRA) set a challenging course with three fences reaching the maximum height of 1.60m. Only three combinations mastered it to advance to the jump off.

USA’s Misti Cassar and Mylord Cornet, the first to tackle the course, had a “pilot error” that resulted in elimination. Simon Salame Farca (MEX) and So Nice assumed the lead with four faults in 53.26 seconds. As the final pair, Martinez executed a skillful turn at the third fence but misjudged the distance to the last to add four faults to his score. Their much quicker time of 48.44 secured the victory.

“I thought I could go a little bit faster and still [win with] a rail,” Martinez shared. “At the end, I was thinking about the time. Going to the last fence, you’re always thinking, ‘Is this enough?’ I had a bit of miscommunication, but Quinley still went over [the jump]. I’m thankful.”

While Quinley is piloted by an amateur rider, their Jumpr App stats are on par or better than many professionals. Over 15 rounds at 1.60m, Quinley has a 67% top 10 finish average and nearly €400k in career earnings with Martinez in the irons.

His rider says there’s more to come.

“He doesn’t feel like he’s 15,” smiled Martinez Vazquez. “In the prize ceremony, he’s like a young horse and he has a lot of energy. It’s a big horse but he still moves very well and, he feels really strong. So I’m really happy for him for that.”

The North American League concludes in Ocala, FL on March 17. Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Daniel Bluman (ISR) lead the standings on 63 and 43 points, respectively. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) sits in third place with 41 points.

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