Two years ago, Václav Staněk was working as a groom at the Spruce Meadows Summer Series.

On Sunday, the 29-year-old became the first Czech rider in history to win a 5* Grand Prix at the iconic venue.

“I didn’t even expect to get a clear round, let alone win my first 5* event,” said Staněk.

Stanek has only contested one 1.60m class prior with Quintin, the 14-year-old Quaprice Z gelding previously campaigned by Ireland’s Daniel Coyle. Over 10 rounds at 1.45m to 1.60m, the pair has a 30% clear round and top 10% finish averages (Jumpr Stats).

Sunday’s win marks their first podium finish—and against considerable competition.

Five of the 37 starters found a clear path around Marina Azevedo’s 1.60m first round course in the Duncan Ross Grand Prix to advance to the jump off. Among them were Britain’s Matthew Sampson on Daniel, Ireland’s Conor Swail with Casturano, USA’s Nick Dello Joio on Cornet’s Cambridge, and New Zealand’s Sharn Wordley atop Champion League.

Staněk and Quintin stopped the clock at 45.06, half a second faster than runners up Sampson and Daniel (45.36). Swail took third in a speedy 42.84 but with four faults.

“It’s so special because this is my favorite show in the world,” said the former Rolex Young Riders Academy disciple. “I have watched Spruce Meadows since I was a little kid hoping one day I could ride here, but I would never even dream about winning here.

“I finally got my [champion’s] cooler in the best way possible,” he added.

Five star competition at the Spruce Meadows Summer Series this week with the National CSI5*/2* June 12–16.