Ocala, FL – This week’s Ocala Sunday Spotlight shines on Coquelicot VH Heuvelland Z owned by Foxridge Farms Stables and ridden by Sean Jobin of Canada. Coquelicot VH Heuvelland Z, aka ‘Licot’ wowed the crowd last week during the FEI CSI3* competition for his huge heart and impressive jumping style. Jobin piloted the talented 11-year-old Zangersheide gelding to three clear international rounds with third place finishes in the $50,000 Wheels Up Welcome Prix and $150,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI3*. We caught up with Jobin to learn more about the handsome gelding.
WEC: Tell us about your partnership with Licot.
We purchased him as an eight turning nine-year-old, so we have had him for a couple of years now. It’s a funny story, my groom saw a picture of him on Instagram and she showed it to me. He was out in France, and he’s so photogenic, we thought we’d inquire to see if we would make a deal, and luckily they said yes. I wouldn’t recommend that to everyone – buying a horse off of a picture, but it worked for us.
All jokes aside, we liked the way he was brought up. He was with a good rider, in a great program. They took their time developing him and really put their time into his training.
When he first came over, we were a little surprised because when he walks, trots and canters around he gives you a bit more of a pony feeling than a big sport horse. He’s around 16.2hh so he isn’t small, he just has a smaller step, but all the heart in the world.
We’ve been working on learning how to jump those really big 1.50m combinations, because he has so much heart, he jumps them really big. It’s great, but for the bigger tracks he just needs a bit more experience. I think he’s figured it out because he jumped the big and technical stuff last week easily.
WEC: Tell us about the classes that he competed in last week during the FEI CSI3*.
He was clean in the Speed on Wednesday, double-clean in the Welcome and double-clean in the Grand Prix. I felt comfortable doing three classes because we had leaned a lot on him during the Major League Tour at the beginning of last year and then gave him a good break at the end of the year. He didn’t really show in January and did just a few classes in February, so I knew he could handle it and he showed us that he could.
On Thursday night, I feel like I could have ridden him a bit better. He showed a lot of heart. There were a few instances at the start of the first track where there were some tight distances to some wide jumps, and he felt a little sticky. Going into the jump-off I wanted to give him a confident ride and he was super.
I thought Saturday was going to be really challenging for him because we had the wall very early in the course off a tight turn right next to the spectators, then it went right to the big triple combination to another big oxer. I thought the wall could get him a bit too careful to go into the triple combination, but he was really on it and I think I rode it pretty well. We did all the lines to all the spots. He stayed super focused from start to finish.
I couldn’t be happier with him. I wish I went for it a little bit more, but it’s tricky being first back because you don’t know how the other competitors will do. In the end, I felt like he had so much more to give and it was really encouraging for his future.
WEC: How did Licot enjoy competing under the lights on Saturday night?
I have a couple horses that really enjoy the energy and he is one of them. A lot of horses might wilt under that type of environment but he’s great and really wants to show off. He loved the attention on him.
We don’t get a lot of opportunities in America to show under the lights, in front of a crowd with that caliber of energy and in such an amazing atmosphere. It was an incredible experience and it’s great to know that he really enjoys that type of environment and thrives in it.
Thank you, Sean, for taking the time to chat with us! Good luck with Licot, we can’t wait to see what’s to come for you both!