Lexington, KY – October 13, 2010 – Pablo Barrios and G&C LaGran accomplished their goal of being in the top 30 riders in the world when they made the individual final at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Lexington, KY. Barrios competed through all four individual rounds in the competition on G&C LaGran, owned by Barrios and G&C Farm. Barrios was also part of the Venezuelan team, the first time that the country has fielded a team in the world championships.
G&C Farm is based in Wellington, FL, and owned by Gustavo and Carolina Mirabal of Venezuela. Barrios, who competes for Venezuela, is also based in Wellington.
Barrios and G&C LaGran started out the WEG with a bang when they finished fourth in the opening individual speed round. Their time of 69.42 seconds was the fastest in the entire class, and with four faults converted for a final time of 73.42 seconds, they finished with a top placing.
“We had a very good speed class, the fastest time in the class,” Barrios said. “Unfortunately we had a rail, but it was enough to stay fourth. He’s a very fast horse, and that’s the kind of class that I can win. I went for it, but we were a little short.”
Barrios then rode in both rounds of the Nations Cup team competition, which also counted toward his individual score. They had eight faults in the first round and four faults in the second round. “LaGran jumped really, really well,” Barrios noted. “In the second round I made a mistake, but it only cost me four faults, so that was good.”
Their consistent jumping helped them qualify for the final individual round, which allowed only the top 30 riders out of the 121 who started at the beginning of the competition. Although they had a disappointing finish in that round, Barrios stayed optimistic about what they accomplished individually and as a team. “I made a mistake; it was hard for LaGran,” Barrios admitted. “He was a little tired for that class. I’m happy with what I did and happy with the horse. I think for the next WEG and Olympic Games, we will be more competitive.”
This was the first time that Barrios has made the individual finals, which was the goal for him and G&C Farm. “LaGran was really good and well-prepared for the Games. It was a good experience. We’re closing the distance with the top riders, and that made me feel good,” he said.
This was the first time that Venezuela fielded a team for the world championships. Barrios was joined by Andres Rodriguez with Larkanaro and Loisse Garcia on AD Simone Metodo Marcolab, and they were led by Chef d’Equipe Leopoldo Palacios.
“It was very nice for us to have a team for the first time. In the warm-up, you have your teammates helping you and supporting you. That’s a great feeling. Leopoldo did a great job trying to put the team together. He did a great job before and during the Games and was a big help,” Barrios expressed.
By competing on a team and being the anchor rider, it gave Barrios the opportunity to go much later in the starting order of the classes. “That helped me a lot,” he agreed. “I was the last rider on the team, so it let me watch a lot for the speed class and I could set my plan better.”
Gustavo Mirabal also feels that qualifying a team for WEG was a big step in promoting the sport in Venezuela. “This was a really special WEG for Venezuela. For a team with just three riders, it was a really good result. This is going to be a new era for our country. We are ready for the Pan American Games next year and hopefully will be for the 2012 Olympic Games.”
Mirabal said of the WEG team members, “Loisse Garcia is going to stay in the U.S. under the supervision of the G&C team to show at WEF and Spruce Meadows. This will help her compete at a higher level for the Pan American Games and Olympics. Andres Rodriguez is already based in the U.S. and is a great rider. We will coordinate with other Venezuelan riders that want to come to G&C Farm for training supervision. I believe that we will be able to field a four-member team at the next competition.”
Barrios looked back at WEG with positive thoughts and believes that his experience at WEG will only help the Venezuelan team. “It was difficult, and you need a special horse, have a little luck, and ride well. I made a few mistakes, but I made the finals for the first time, which was our goal in these Games,” he said. “I want to thank G&C Farm, Gustavo and Carolina, for their support this year and Leopoldo, who made it possible to have this team. We’re looking forward to Pan American Games next year, where we will try to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games as a team.”
“For G&C Farm, it was a really fantastic WEG,” Mirabal remarked. “Our expectation was to be in the best 30 and once again we reached our goal. Pablo and LaGran’s performance in the speed class was phenomenal! I’m very proud of Pablo for his excellent performance at WEG, and I want to thank Leopoldo Palacios who made all of this possible. He was a fantastic Chef d’Equipe.”
Barrios and Mirabal are looking ahead to the 2011 FEI World Cup Finals, which will be held in April in Leipzig, Germany. Barrios has never qualified for the World Cup Finals before, and he will be competing in World Cup qualifiers in Harrisburg, PA, Washington, D.C., Syracuse, NY, and Toronto to achieve that next goal.
Barrios is also currently ranked 35th in the ROLEX World Rankings, which does not include points from his great performance at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. “We are very near our principal goal to be in the top 30 in the world,” Mirabal said. “We are going to attack strong at indoors to reach that goal and qualify for the 2011 FEI World Cup Finals. Our escudería is ready to win!”
Please visit www.farmgc.com for more information on G&C Farm, their riders, and their horses.
G&C Farm brings exceptional horses and top Venezuelan jumper riders to the highest levels of competition. Their state-of-the-art, full-service facility is located in Wellington, FL.
The vision of G&C Farm is to improve the instruction and training of their top jumper riders and horses in order to seek a place on the Venezuelan team for all high level tournaments and top competitions, including the World Equestrian Games and Olympic Games. G&C Farm sponsors top grand prix rider Pablo Barrios of Venezuela, as well as other up and coming riders. The technical advisor at G&C Farm is Olympic Games course designer Leopoldo Palacios.
For more information on G&C Farm, please visit www.farmgc.com.
© 2010 Jennifer Wood Media Inc.