Saturday, May. 25, 2024

Gaytan Makes Sure Mindful Is Ready To Shine In The Ring At WEF

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Wellington, Fla.—Feb. 1

There are some horses that wow you from the first fence—not Mindful. He gets you way back at the in-gate.

The gelding’s superior form and style earned him and Jennifer Hannan the win in the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Winter Equestrian Festival on Friday afternoon, but it was his insanely glossy coat that caught your attention from the word go. I mean, you could practically see your reflection in his bum; it was crazy!

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I mean did we even need to watch him jump? Can we just give him the tricolor for that shine?! Mindful and Jennifer Hannan. ANN GLAVAN PHOTOS

After the class the team from Ocean Echo Farm was quick to credit the man behind the masterpiece that is Mindful’s turn out, super groom Felipe Gaytan. Gaytan has been taking care of the gelding for three years, and he’s not body clipped—Gaytan goes through a curry mitt per week keeping his coat this perfect!

“I curry him for about an hour before he works and then maybe 45 minutes after,” Gaytan said as he gave the gelding a handful of victory carrots. “He loves it.”

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Pictures really do not do it justice. Felipe Gaytan with his buddy Mindful.

Gaytan’s elbow grease had Mindful ready to shine in the ring with rider Jennifer Hannan—the pair beat out 56 entries to take the top call in the class, a nice return to the winner’s circle for Hannan.

“It feels pretty awesome because I’ve been out for a long time,” Hannan said. “I was out with an injury since May of last year; I fell off a horse and broke my heel. This is my first derby back.”

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Jennifer Hannan and Mindful.

Hannan and Mindful had the highest combined score from the classic and handy tracks in the derby’s hunt-and-go format (meaning there were not two separate rounds, think power and speed—riders went right from the classic round to the handy track and got separate scores for each.)

“He’s a super star; he’s truly amazing,” Hannan said. “He’s a show horse; he wants to win every time, so it’s a real privilege and an honor to ride him.”

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Jennifer Hannan and Mindful.

Check out our shots from the class!

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El Primero and Tori Colvin took second.

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Girl knows how to hand gallop! Tori Colvin and El Primero flying on down to the final fence.

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Liza Boyd and Tradition took third.

Full results can be found here.

Don’t miss any of our coverage of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival.

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