12th Davao Horse Show A Jumpin’ Success
The recently concluded 12th Davao Horse Show & Competition was a huge success, this according to the president of the event’s host, the Davao Horse Club, Atty. Gerardo “Jeric” Olaguer. By the number of participants alone, it was record-breaking at 121 people registered – horse lovers all, from children to teenagers to horsemen and women. And they came from all over the country. From Clark and Subic in Luzon to Cebu and Bohol in the Visayas and Cagayan de Oro, Malaybalay and Impasugong, Bukidnon in Mindanao. Olaguer said that this was the first time horsemen from the former American bases participated in the annual Davao competition, proving that it is attracting nationwide interest, he gleefully added, savoring the successful conclusion of the event held at the Exhibition Grounds of SM City Davao.
Leading to the Opening Ceremonies, the unique sports spectacle began with a Parade of Horses with each participating club proudly showing-off its authentic cowboy get-up on board their horses of different breeds, sizes and colors, marching to the exotic beat of the agong, the kulintang and native drums. Guest of Honor and Speaker was Mr. Hermie Esguerra, owner of Herma Farms, today’s foremost breeder of champion race horses in the country. In his speech, Mr. Esguerra commended the Davao Horse Club for not losing its focus in promoting horse sport all these years while shoring up community support in the endeavor.
The two-day competition showed the crowd of eager spectators (growing in numbers thru the years) how games on horseback are played, such as the American Barrel Race and the Obstacle Race in different divisions: Kiddies, Youth, Novice, Auxiliary, Intermediate and Expert. For the non-competitive, there was the Royal Division. To cap each day’s thrilling rides, there was the Oval Race that went like the real horse races in Sta. Ana, Manila and never failed to take the Davaoeno spectator’s breath away. To end the grueling competition and put back the horse people in relax mode, there were fun games on horseback like relay and beer drinking contests.
Though the Malaybalay horsemen took home the Team Award for the most number of wins, members of the Davao Horse Club clearly proved the effectiveness of their maxim which is “The family that rides together, stays together.” Two families dominated some of the games and took home much-deserved honors: the Batu-Gonzales family saw their youngest, Nikki Boy, win first place in the Barrel Race and his sister Alyssa, third in the Youth Division. Their father, Dr. Dean Gonzales, taking a leap from his previous stint in the non-bearing Royal Division last year, was third in the Novice Division in the difficult Obstacle Race. Similarly, two brothers were champions in their respective divisions in the Barrel Race: Patrick Angel Tuazon in the Novice Division and Jay A. Tuazon in the Intermediate Division. Both are taking-up medicine at the Davao Medical School Foundation. Other Davao Horse Club father/son and brother tandems are Andrew Tan and his son Koby Troy who both compete in the Expert Division and the Ledesma brothers, Jody and Martin, in the Intermediate Division. Not to forget the mothers, Melody Gonzales and Rachel Tan, who have competed in the past but have taken other chores in hosting the event.
As a culminating activity, the traditional Awards Night was held cook-out style at the competition venue. Live rockin’ country music was served by the Davaoeno hosts to spice up the affair. To top it all, Asian Games Show Jumping gold medalist, celebrity equestrian Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski joined the fun in support of the sport and the efforts of the Davao Horse Club. She obliged the crowd of fellow horse lovers with a couple of popular songs, a fitting end to the 12th Davao Horse Show & Competition.
report by george w. misa