Wellington, Florida – The Young Horse Championships got underway on Thursday, November 30, at the CSI-W National Horse Show in Wellington, FL, with the Canadian-owned entry of Sandhya, owned by Mill Creek Stables, emerging as the winner of the Six-Year-Old Division.

Having only been partnered together for two short weeks, Sergio Campos of Brazil piloted the chestnut Luxembourg mare to Thursday’s win. The $30,000 Six-Year-Old Young Jumper Championship consists of three rounds of competition – Thursday and Friday in the DeNemethy Arena with the top 15 horses moving forward to the Final held on Sunday in the Internationale Arena.

In Thursday’s speed class, Campos was drawn 17th in the order of competition, allowing him time to study the track set by American course designer Phil DeVita.

“I was able to watch a few of the other riders, so I had a plan in mind for my trip,” said Campos, 30, who operates Longwood Equestrian Center in Orlando, FL. “Everything was very smooth, and the horse responded well to everything I asked her. It was great!”

Campos had shown Sandhya for the first time two weeks ago at the Atlanta Fall Classic II in Conyers, GA. The pair’s results in the three Open Jumper Level 6 classes that they contested included a second and a third place finish.

“I was a little conservative in Atlanta, it was the first time I was riding her in a horse show and I was just trying to get to know her better,” explained Campos, who also won the $40,000 Atlanta Grand Prix the same week riding Shakira do Jacare and placed third with Cognac do Jacare, an eight-year-old Zangersheide gelding that Campos, in partnership with Olympic Champion Rodrigo Pessoa, recently purchased from Mill Creek Stables.

Although the National Horse Show marks only the second competition together for Campos and Sandhya, they have formed a partnership strong enough to emerge victorious over the top six-year-old jumper prospects in the country.

“She is very careful, very scopey,” praised Campos. “She is also really fast, and she is pleasant to ride. I like hot horses, and she is a little bit hot. That also makes her a fast horse, and when you combine the fact that she is also careful and scopey, she has everything you need to make a great jumper.”

Phil Henning, owner of Mill Creek Stables, added, “Sergio came up to Canada to ride Sandhya at the beginning of November and they got along very well. He loves the horse, and she responds well to him. It is a match made in heaven.”

Sandhya boasts impressive lineage that speaks to her potential as a top level Grand Prix prospect. Her sire is the well-known Oldenburg stallion, Silvio II by Sandro, while her dam sire is the Hannoverian sire Mondial by Matcho. Imported as a three-year-old, Sandhya was developed through the Canadian Young Horse Jumper Development Series, competing as a four, five and six-year-old.

“The win in Wellington, against all the top six-year-olds in the United States, is a testament to the success of the Canadian Young Horse Jumper Development Series,” acknowledged Henning whose selle francais stallion, Millesime du Valy, was named the Five-Year-Old Reserve Champion at last year’s National Horse Show. “It is great to know that developing our young horses in the Canadian Series prepares them to excel in international competition.”

Campos will continue to show Sandhya when he campaigns on the HITS Ocala show circuit this winter in Florida. Between Campos and Canadian rider, Carly Campbell Cooper, Mill Creek will have approximately 20 sales horses competing in Ocala. In addition, Henning’s daughter, Tonya, will show 10 horses at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL, training under Pessoa. In fact, it was Pessoa who first introduced Campos to Mill Creek Stables.

“I have known Rodrigo since I was a little kid, and when he began coaching Tonya, he recommended me to them for a problem horse that they had,” explained Campos, who represented Brazil on the Nations’ Cup team in Wellington, FL, in March. “Since then, we have become partners on a few things. Phil and Tonya are great people, they are very supportive, and we are developing a good relationship.”