WELLINGTON, Fla. — During the fifth week of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), it was amateur jumper rider, Donna Gumbin, who took home the champion honors in the Don Little Masters division aboard her own Cornetto. It was the second time during the 2017 horse show season that Gumbin has earned this distinction. Hailing from The Plains, Virginia, Gumbin is trained by David Matisz, a successful international show jumping competitor and coach, who is based in Middleburg, Virginia and Wellington, Florida.
Matisz consistently places at the top of both national and international show jumping events and is known in the equestrian industry for providing high-end sale horses, as well as exceptional training and development for young and promising prospects.
The Don Little Masters division at WEF takes place over three consecutive days, and Gumbin’s consistency paid off. She piloted Cornetto to clear rounds on Friday and Saturday over the 1.10 meter track. The talented pair also produced a clear effort when the fences were raised on Sunday for the classic to finish in sixth place. The duo was the only horse and rider combination to go clear over all three days.
“Cornetto is very talented and also very patient,” Gumbin said of her 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding.
Matisz helped Gumbin ride to the top this past weekend, and she credits part of her success to her trainer’s uncomplicated approach.
“David is really good at providing a relaxed environment. He doesn’t make you nervous or put too much pressure on you or doesn’t over coach. He’s very good at letting you figure things out and just interjecting when he feels like he needs to,” Gumbin said.
She continued, “He keeps it very simple – finding your rhythm, finding a good pace, and working from that. The thing I love the most his positive attitude and consistency.”
A true horseman first, Gumbin praised Matisz’ straightforward style of training at home. “He doesn’t believe in doing a lot of gimmicks,” Gumbin explained.
“David believes in really working with your horse using simple, good flatwork, and getting them strong and solid on the flat to give the horse confidence,” she said.
Gumbin’s farm, Heathfield Hunters LLC, currently has a string of fifteen horses, and two of them, Livorno Agropoint and Calido Son, are young horses who have recently made their debuts in the 6-Year-Old Jumper Division under the careful guidance of Matisz.
“I am looking forward to keeping up the good results with Cornetto and the rest of my horses,” said Gumbin. “We have a had a great season so far and I am really looking forward to finishing the second half of WEF on a high note.”
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via Phelps Media Groups
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