Nations Cup Wins, Victor Finn, & Seeing the Positive in Everything: Loose Talk With U25 Rider Eugenio Garza Perez
Nations Cup Wins, Victer Finn, & Seeing the Positive in Everything: Loose Talk With U25 Rider Eugenio Garza Perez
By Nina Fedrizzi
There’s nothing better than starting your season off with a bang, and that’s just how Mexico’s Eugenio Garza Perez began his 2019. On February 17, the top U25 rider, who trains with Eddie Macken, helped the Mexican Team ride to victory with double-clear rounds in the $290,000 CSIO5* Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of the United States of America during Week 2 of the Palm Beach Masters. It’s just the latest in a series of CSI3* and CSI5* wins Eugenio has earned aboard his top mount, Victer Finn DH Z.
A relative veteran in international competition despite his young age, Eugenio was also part of the now-famous Mexican Nations Cup team that rode to the win at the Dublin Horse Show in August, 2018. During the winter season, Eugenio divides his time between riding and college coursework at the University of Miami. Here, the busy 22-year-old shares eight pieces of advice that keep him at the top of his game.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
“In Florida, I start riding around 7 a.m. in the morning. From there, I finish around noon, and then I’ll head to work out with [Wellington-based equestrian trainer] Mike Barthelemy. I’ll come home and have lunch with the family. Then, I head to school around 3 p.m. at the University of Miami and then I’m back for dinner.”
There’s no “I” in team
“I have to give it to my grooms—they’re [top level] and without them, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. I’m extremely grateful to them.”
I don’t play favorites
“My favorite horse varies a little—I’m not loyal in that department, since it’s usually the one that’s doing the best [at the time]! But I’m fortunate enough to have three very good horses: Victer, Armani SL Z, and Pappa Ante Portas 2. Right now, Victer is the one we’re leaning on to do bigger things in 2019, so I’m really happy with him, especially since he’s come back from a big injury and we really didn’t know how that was going to go.”
Every horse is an individual—in every situation
“When you’re not riding [Victer], he’s a very gentle horse and loves attention. When you’re on him, he likes his job and he loves to get in the ring. He really focuses on the show. At home, he’s not hard, but he just gets bored easily, I’ll say that!”
Live in the moment
“I have a great group of friends in Wellington, [Florida] and we like to get together and play a game of football when we can, and just spend time with each other.
Definitely, I also like to spend time with the family, because at this point, I travel so much that it’s nice to be able to see them when I can.” "
Stick to a routine
“Before a big class, I usually do the same thing over and over again so it becomes repetition [and calms me down]. For me, that’s sitting down and listening to music. That usually helps me.”
It’s not over until it’s over.
“When I was little, I was leading the competition in the Children’s National Championship in Mexico. When I went in the ring, I forgot jump #1 and went straight to jump #2so that was a great way to finish!”
Try and fail, but never fail to try
“Eddie [Macken] is really big on enjoying the wins and learning from the [bad rounds] and seeing the positive in everything. That helps me not only in riding, but on a day-to-day basis. I think that’s a great lesson.”