Mayaguez, Puerto Rico – July 31, 2010 – Pablo Barrios represented his home country of Venezuela well this week at the 21st Central American and Caribbean Games in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. Barrios rode G&C Quick Star 11 to the gold medal in the first individual round, helped the Venezuelan team win the gold medal, and finished as the overall individual gold medal winner. G&C Quick Star 11 is owned by G&C Farm. G&C Farm, owned by Gustavo and Carolina Mirabal of Venezuela, is based in Wellington, FL. Barrios is also based in Wellington, FL.
In the opening speed round, Barrios and G&C Quick Star 11, a 12-year-old KWPN mare by Quick Star x Grannus, were the fastest clear round to take home the first gold medal in show jumping. Venezuelan teammate Andres Rodriguez won the silver, which helped Venezuela take the lead in the team classification going into the next day’s Nations Cup competition.
“I went last out of the Venezuelan riders on the first day, so I had the opportunity to watch almost the whole class,” Barrios recalled. “I watched Andres lead the class for a while, and I wanted to go a little faster. I made a few turns tighter, but I didn’t want to risk too much because it’s a championship and all scores count.”
In the Nations Cup competition, Venezuela was the strongest team of the day, with anchor rider Barrios having four faults in the first round and zero faults in the second round. Noel Vanososte and Conrad D contributed four and six faults, while Andres Rodriguez rode very well with only a time fault in each round on Da Vinci. Angel Karolyi and James T Kirk were also good with seven and five faults. The strong finish gave Venezuela the team gold medal.
“We finished really strong and took the lead in the second round,” Barrios said. “It was a very good feeling. Mexico was good the second round too, so it was really close. I was the last rider, but I knew before I got to the ring that we would get the gold medal.”
With a day off for rest, the riders returned on Friday for the final individual classification, which had two rounds. Barrios was carrying four faults into the final day and sat in second place behind teammate Rodriguez. Barrios and G&C Quick Star 11 had zero faults in the first round and four faults in the second round. They finished with eight total faults for their third gold medal.
Barrios recounted, “I went clear in the first round and Andres had a rail, so we switched positions. In the second round, pretty much everybody had a rail. That gave me a little room where I could have a rail down, which was good because I had one down too! I ended up with the championship. We only had two rails over five rounds.”
Their results were also impressive considering the conditions of the week. “The weather was hard,” Barrios agreed. “It was very warm and raining during the first two classes. In the first round of the Nations Cup, it was pouring. It bothered Quick Star a little bit. In the second round, the conditions were better, and she jumped really well. She jumped amazing in the first round on the last day, and maybe she was a little tired in the last round.”
This was Barrios’ fourth time competing at the Central American and Caribbean Games, but it was his first time collecting gold medals. “It was one of the most competitive Central American Games I’ve been to,” Barrios remarked. “The level was great from every country, which was really nice. I’ve never gotten an individual medal at these Games, and I think it’s our first gold medal as a team. It was exciting to hear the national anthem and wave our flag.”
Gustavo Mirabal stated, “This is the first time in the history of the Central American and Caribbean Games when one country won all of the show jumping gold medals. It was a strong competition, and Mexico and Colombia had really strong teams. I’m very proud of Pablo. We have now won gold at the Bolivarian and the Central American and Caribbean Games, which are two events on our Olympic qualifying circuit.”
Barrios is also positive about the future of the Venezuelan team. “We had a pretty young team. It was great to see so many strong riders for our country,” he said. “I think we will have a great team for even more high level competitions in the future.”
Mirabal added, “Once again, it has been demonstrated that Venezuelan riders can be in the highest level of competition. This is the goal for G&C Farm for the sport in Venezuela, and I’m happy to be a part of this contribution. I’m sure that this is only the beginning of a new era for the sport in our country. Congratulations to all of the members of the Venezuelan team.”
G&C Farm and Pablo Barrios will travel to Dublin, Ireland to compete at the Dublin International Horse Show on August 4-8, 2010. They will then go on to the next Global Champions Tour stop in Valkenswaard, The Netherlands, on August 13-15.
Barrios will be representing Venezuela at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, KY, in early October.
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.
Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.: Writing. Photography. Equestrian Public Relations and Marketing.