Zine Dine Zips to Welcome Stake Victory at Pin Oak
RELEASE: March 26, 2014
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Lynn Walsh for Pin Oak
Hailey Henderson and Zine Dine (Shawn McMillen Photography)
- After posting the first clear round in the $10,000 Quanta Services Welcome Jumper Stake this afternoon, Hailey Henderson looked around and then quickly trotted back to the in-gate.
“I didn’t really think I was going to go in the jump-off, so I had to refresh my memory for the jump-off track,” she said laughing. “So, I only had a brief idea of what it was. I had to make sure it really was it. I’d just walked the course, not the jump-off.”
Even with just a last-minute plan in her mind, Henderson and Zine Dine posted the only double-clear performance (0-0/32.95), taking the blue ribbon and earning the biggest victory to date in their six-year career together.
Three competitors qualified for the jump-off, with Velano S and Brian Locke placing second with a rail in 32.68 seconds, while Zigvago and Martien van der Hoeven took third with 8 faults in 32.79 seconds.
“The jump-off rode really well, and the turns came up and were right there. You always expect someone to beat the leading time for sure, and I had a lot of great riders going after me, but luck was on my side,” she said.
Henderson, of Willow Oaks Equestrian Center in Lafayette, Louisiana, purchased the now 10-year-old Thoroughbred (Unbridled Time—My Belle) as a 4-year-old. In addition to a racing career, the dark bay gelding was being eyed for a spot on a reality TV program about Thoroughbreds and racing when Henderson scooped him up as a show prospect.
“I wasn’t even supposed to get him, but I got on him and he was my type,” she said. “I rode him around in a round pen. He was feisty, and I had to mount him in the stall with two guys holding him. They were like, ‘You really want to get on this one?’ There was just something about him that drew me to his stall.”
Within six months, Zine Dine was on the show circuit, and he found success immediately. He was circuit champion on the Gulf Coast Winter circuit during his first winter series, and he’s moved up a level each year since.
“This was his first big win,” said Henderson. “Last week was his first double clear in the 1.45m. He had just trailered in an hour before [the class] and walked right in and put down a double-clean round at 1.45m. Then, we did the two grand prix classes last week, and they were decent, but we didn’t get into the jump-offs. Today, he was double clean again, and we had luck on our side.”
Henderson said she really liked the courses designed by Bernardo Costa Cabral of Portugal.
“I thought it was a super course, and he jumped around incredible, the best he’s been jumping in his life,” she noted. “He was so good and so strong and so responsive, and I think that’s what helped us out. He was on it and responsive, so I was able to get the most out of him.
“He’s definitely on his way up,” she added. “He’s had more and more double clears at this height, and this is his first big win. It means a lot. We’re a team, and I want to continue doing this as long as we can.”
Learn more abou the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, and watch live Friday & Saturdy, at www.usefnetwork.com/featured/2014PinOak/