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Shamrock:

The Luck of the Irish-bred

It has been said that “horses can’t talk, but they can speak if you listen.” Terry Gonzalez, an international Grand Prix show jumper based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida,

will vouch for this timeless adage day after day, as he has experienced first hand just how a horse can speak, and how incredibly persuasive they can be.

By Erica Larson

within a year. The Irish-bred began winning Grand Prix classes whenever he was in the arena, and he commanded attention with his flashy gaits and scopey jump. It was in 2006, less than a year after he purchased

Shamrock, that Terry was selected to represent Puerto Rico at the Central American Games which were held in Cartagena, Columbia. The Central American Games are an Olympic-type competition that takes place every four years in different locations throughout Central America. Terry had high hopes for Shamrock as the games grew near. He was jumping better than he had ever jumped before. Everything was going just as planned until the

speed class arrived. “The horse was jumping phenomenally,” says Terry.

“He’s the kind of horse that when he’s in the horse show atmosphere, he tries to jump an extra foot over everything. We were in the speed class and we were trying to win the class.” “We made a really sharp turn over an oxer and he jumped huge. It was a forward five stride line to an in-and- out. When he landed, I thought, ‘One, two, three…oh my God!’ I was hoping that he’d put on the breaks, but he tried to jump it anyways. And we flipped. Right when he fell, I knew he was broken.”

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