Dutchman Jimmy van der Hoeven packed his bags for the return trip home to Whitesboro, Texas, last week feeling fortuinlijk.
Chance and good fortune as a force in human affairs — in this case, the affairs of equine and human — are as important as preparation and execution.
Guaranteed A Magnum and van der Hoeven had all three going for them at the High Roller Reining Classic in Las Vegas’ South Point Event and Equestrian Center, raking in the biggest prize, a $19,464 get for a best-of 227 in the Level 4 Open Derby.
Impeccable turns and good circles, both assets, were his strongest features, van der Hoeven said.
“I was trying to keep him [content],“ van der Hoeven said of Magnum. “Everything is closed off at the South Point, so it’s difficult to get outside over there. I took him out for lunch a little bit to make him happy. I didn’t ride him too hard that week to save him for the end of the week. I think it worked really good. He was fresh enough. I think he showed really well.’’
Andrea Fappani and Kole Price shared Reserve status on Modern Gun (Gunners Special Nite x Taris Modern Design x Mr Boomerjac) and Gunna Stop, son of Gunnatrashya and out of Stop Little Sister (x Magnum Chic Dream) with 224.5s. Reserve paid $10,366 each.
“Famous Amos’’ and van der Hoeven have been good together. In June, the pair successfully defended their NRHA Derby Level 4 Open title in Oklahoma City. Amos, a 6-year-old gelding owned by Chad and Molly Cherry of Guthrie, Oklahoma, has career earnings of more than $260,000, according to Equi-Stat.
Van der Hoeven increased his career earnings, which totaled better than $656,000 before the start of the event. Van der Hoeven began with Amos after his 4-year-old year after trainer and friend Casey Hinton suggested he give him a go.
“Every time we get to know each other better,“ van der Hoeven said. “He starts understanding what I want from him. As a team, we grew a lot. I think he keeps getting better.’’
The Quarter Horse News caught up with van der Hoeven this week.
You all repeated at the NRHA Derby in Oklahoma City. Were there any similarities in the two shows that benefitted you? “That arena [South Point] is a little smaller, kind of like Oklahoma City. Those arenas fit him a little better because he’s really not that big.’’
When were you introduced to Amos? “I started riding him at the end of his 4-year-old year. It was in August or September [of 2017] that Casey [Hinton] came to me and asked if I wanted to go ride him. I used the rest of that year to school him and get to know him and get him ready for NRBC. The first time I showed him was at the NRBC as a 5-year-old.’’
What is next of you all? “We have him in for the World show [AQHA World Championship Show, where they were Junior World Reining Champions last year], but we haven’t made a plan for the next steps the rest of the year.“
You’ve lived in Texas nine years? “Yes.’’
How have you liked it? “Everything is big [laughs]. I like Texas. For horses, it’s good. It doesn’t get too cold in the wintertime. It gets hot in the summer, but you can ride during the night. It’s different from Holland.’’
Certainly. Was horsemanship in the family? Actually not. My dad was a butcher. My dad always said he wanted to have a farm one day. When we bought that farm, there were horses on it. It was actually in Canada where we got our start in Western. [His brother, Roy, trains, too.] Friends living in British Columbia is where we started.
Las Vegas and Amsterdam … similar? Different? [Laughs] “I’ve been to the [Las Vegas] Strip once, three or four years ago. It was during the day so I couldn’t tell you.’’