After Eduardo Menezes made his first visit to the Colorado Horse Park he was glad he’d come. Menezes won a $10,000 open hunter class, a $5,000 speed derby, a $5,000 gambler’s choice and ended his tour with the win in the $50,000 Grand Prix of Denver. His total winnings came to well over $30,000, earning him the leading open jumper rider award.
Menezes, who rides for his native Brazil but lives in Mexico City, won the grand prix on Don Guido Mercedes-Benz in a four-horse jump-off. He doesn’t consider Don Guido to be his best horse; that honor belongs to Let’s Go Mercedes-Benz, who dropped a rail in the first round and placed 10th.
“My other horse is much faster than this one,” he said. “I was a little bit mad that I had that fence down.”
Menezes found Javier Fernandez’ first-round course challenging. “It was very technical,” he said. “It wasn’t that big, but [it had] many bending lines from one side to another. The riders had to think a lot all through the course.”
The track didn’t offer any breathing space at all, either. “You could never get a little loose; you needed to be on top of the horse all the time,” Menezes said.
Menezes said that living in Mexico City gives him an advantage when he competes abroad. “This is one thing that’s really good in Mexico,” he said. “I’m fortunate to ride with many, many course designers—the best in the world—so when we go out, there’s nothing new.”