Thermal, California, USA – November 12, 2022 – There’s a new name in the desert, and it’s Jose Maria Quintana (MEX).
The 20-year-old has taken California by storm recently, and it was no different at Desert International Horse Park (DIHP) as he bested 51 entries aboard Catoki Boy to win the $100,000 FarmVet Grand Prix Saturday evening of National Sunshine Series II.
“He’s my horse of a lifetime,” Quintana said of the 12-year-old Holsteiner stallion (Catoki x Cassini) he has owned since the horse was just 7. “I jumped my first 1.40m with him, I jumped my first grand prix with him, and I won my first ranking class with him. We have come a long way. He’s been out the past couple years so it’s been tough for me, but this year he’s come along very well. I’m super thankful to have him.”
Over Manuel Esparza‘s first-round track, Quintana was one of nine riders to navigate the jumps clear and advance to the jump-off. He came back in the middle of the jump-off order, when Karrie Rufer (USA) held the lead with the Morning Star Sporthorses LLC entry Mr. Europe in a clear effort of 43.962 seconds.
Quintana did just enough by steering his quick horse around the short track, clocking in at 43.820 seconds, claiming the lead by a small margin.
Rufer ended up in second place, while Sophia Siegel (USA) and Barracuda took third and also claimed the Equifit U25 Classic.
“I knew there were a lot of pretty good and fast riders [behind me],” Quintana said of his strategy. “I knew to get the win I needed to stick to my plan and that’s what I did. He helped me a lot. He left his heart out in the ring and it worked out pretty well. I won by one-tenth of a second so I’m very happy.”
Quintana is a newcomer to DIHP, but he likes what he’s seen so far at the facility and plans to return for the shows in December.
“It’s my first time here, but I definitely am coming back,” he continued. “Everything is incredible. I’ve heard great stories about the improvements and I’ve seen a lot of great organization and administration. The footing is amazing, [and so are] the jumps, the atmosphere, the lights and the night energy for the grand prix. The stabling is five-star. I’m coming back for sure. My plan is to keep pushing the grand prixs here in California.”
Final Results: $100,000 FarmVet Grand Prix
1) Jose Maria Quintana (MEX) & Catoki Boy – 0 / 0 – 43.820
2) Karrie Rufer (USA) & Mr. Europe – 0 / 0 – 43.962
3) Sophia Siegel (USA) & Barracuda – 0 / 0 – 43.990
Source: Press Release by Tori Bilas for Desert International Horse Park
Photos: © DIHP / ESI Photography