Equestrian sports in Venezuela is more than hanging out with friends in a corner and being aware of which horse wins the races, it’s more than making your fingers sound and saying “dale, dale”. Hippics in Venezuela has names, names that have enriched our tricolor and have made the Venezuelan National Anthem sound on various podiums in the world. Know the Venezuelan Riders that have reached success.
Some of those names are Gustavo Mirabal, Gustavo Arroyo, Andrés Rodríguez and Pablo Barrios.
Gustavo Mirabal. One sport, one passion.
At age 10 year old was the first federative competition in the “Club La Lagunita” in Venezuela of the rider Gustavo Mirabal Castro. Influenced by his father’s passion for horses, he began to fall in love with equestrian sports.
“My dad has been passionate about horses since he was very young and when I turned 9 he took me to the stables of the club where we were partners and from then on I also became passionate,” he said in an interview with this website .
At 9 years old, the young Mirabal was already attracted by the equestrian jump and the horse-horse connection, a binomial that years later would become the engine of his life. He began a path that others venezuelan riders followed.
“As an amateur rider I competed in the best competitions in the world. I am lucky to say that I won in all the contests in which I signed up, (Florida, Madrid, Belgium, Paris, London, Saint Tropez, Cannes, Monaco, Gucci Master Paris, La Baule and Vienna), all were special because when I was on the podium the national anthem sounded, it’s very exciting, “he said.
Triumphs over the horse and at his side
The triumphs of Mirabal were seen with him on a horse, but also with his horses mounted by other riders. This Venezuelan opened his own breeding and training farm for horses and riders in the United States in 2009. This contributed to the preparation and professional development of other competitors.
“In the morning I would jump the amateur tests and in the afternoon my horses would compete with the professional riders with whom I was associated. It was the perfect combination, ” he said. He has developed several Venezuelan riders.
The businessman was also allied with the number 1 rider of Spain, Sergio Álvarez Moya, recalls with great joy, especially the contest in Vienna “where I was lucky to win the three amateur tests, dream the anthem, be interviewed about the horse in track. When leaving the field there was a group of Venezuelans super excited to listen to the national anthem and see the flag waving at the top, magical moments especially in the special moments that are happening in our country, “he said.
In May 2017, Mirbal competed in the Longines Global Champions Tour in Madrid where he won the 1.15m race, after two time trials with the G & C horses Luca Brasi and G & C Lucy. The victory of the Venezuelan inaugurated the tournament.
The first time was 30.82 seconds riding on G & C Luca Brasi, then scored 28.88 with G & C Lucy, securing the first and second place in that category.
In June 2017, the “Gloria al Bravo Pueblo”, Venezuela’s National Anthem, rang in the 4th edition of the Longines Athina Onassis Horse Show, where Mirabal set the pace in the jumping competition and set a time of 35.10 seconds with his horse G & C Luca Basi.
In 2014, the Venezuelan rider Gustavo Arroyo recorded a time of 22.52 seconds with his horse G & C Blue, time that earned him the first place in the equestrian jump tournament. Before the start of their participation, this competition was dominated by Spaniards Miguel Álvarez-Buylla (23.58) and Cristina Buti (24.51). They finished in second and third place respectively.
In this competition participated 32 Spanish pairs (horse-riders) and a total of 60. The tests were played in two phases with obstacles of 1.40 meters.
Arroyo and Mirabal have worked together in the development of young horses and Venezuelan riders, being Arroyo instructor of Mirabal.
The work of both found a perfect ally in the Spanish rider Sergio Álvarez Moya. This means more development of equestrian sport in European territory.
He was a very talented athlete between Venezuelan riders. He winning a silver medal at the Pan American Games in Toronto in 2015. Thanks to this victory he won his place at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro 2016.
“This is incredible. The dream of every athlete is to go to the Olympic Games and that is really what I have been working on for the last three years. I achived to classify these games. I wanted the gold medal but I am also happy with the Olympic quota.”. Said the athlete after learning that he had obtained the pass to Rio.
However, the dream of this 31-year-old man was frustrated. A traffic accident that took his life on January 4, 2016.
The “caraqueño” was the tenth to qualify for the world’s highest sporting event. He classified after being the second in the individual jumping test of riding in Toronto. By the time of his death the Venezuelan was ranked 41st in the Ranking of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI).
Given this unfortunate event the Venezuelan Federation of Equestrian Sports granted the quota to the Venezuelan riders. Pablo Barrios was appointed to replace him. He achived to reach the final test of individual jump but did not reach the numbers to obtain the Olympic medal.
For Barrios, participation in the Olympic Games of Rio de Janeiro 2016, was his second participation in the Olympic Games. Pablo had already represented Venezuela in Beijing 2008, where he finished with his horse Sinatra in position 40; For that then the rider occupied the position 102 of the ranking of the FEI.
Pablo Barrios was champion of Central America and the Caribbean in Mayagüez 2010.
His recent performance (the Central American and Caribbean Games Barranquilla 2018)
He led the individual jump podium with time of 41.00, also closed as overall champion in these games. He closed his performance with three medals: Two gold and one bronze. he is standing out among the Venezuelan riders
We can say that in Venezuela there is talent for the sport on horseback. New generations of venezuelan riders are coming preparing to represent the Caribbean country in the different competitions of this discipline. Only remains to support and consolidate our athletes who are undoubtedly willing to harvest many triumphs.
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