“Cent 15” rose to prominence as a 1.60-meter Grand Prix show jumper in Germany with Norwegian professional Margrethe Hartmann before teaming up with American young rider Dominic Gibbs. The pair were first introduced in Europe where Gibbs got a taste of the horse’s incredible heart as they soared over massive jumps. Cent followed Gibbs back to the United States in January 2019. It soon became evident that Cent might excel as an equitation horse given his loping stride and good form. After only a few weeks, Cent and Gibbs began dominating the Winter Equestrian Festival’s Platinum Performance Talent Search and Hunt Seat Equitation rings in Wellington, Florida.
Gibbs originally hails from Colorado Springs, but he often lives with New Jersey-based trainer Stacia Klein Madden of Beacon Hill Show Stables to maximize his time in the saddle. Most days are spent doing barn chores, riding four or five horses, and then heading to school. Gibbs is as good a student as he is a rider with future aspirations for a top college and a profitable equestrian business. His younger sister, Jordan, is a similarly competitive rider who has also racked up quite a few accolades. Their mother, Erin, is an accomplished amateur hunter and event rider in her own right. The United States Hunter Jumper Association produced a short video on the Gibbs siblings in November 2019, which can be found here.
Cent racked up ribbons throughout the Spring of 2019 at the Devon Horse Show, Upperville Colt & Horse Show, Lake Placid Horse Show, Kentucky Summer Classic, and the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival. He began using HorseScents ScentStraps for shipping several weeks prior to qualifying for the 2019 Maclay Finals at the Kentucky National Horse Show. Having been gelded fairly late in life, Cent was known for being a little spirited in the stall. The calming scent of lavender has helped him settle down. Gibbs says:
We keep a ScentStrap on Cent’s halter at all times and I have a stock of [ScentSacs] in my trunk for when Cent runs out. I can swap them out whenever I need. He’s really become a much calmer horse in the barn and on the ground. When he first came over from Europe, he was quite anxious in the stall…almost trying to climb out the window. He was just crazy. Once I started working with Chrisie and using HorseScents he really became a much calmer and better-behaved horse.
Cent and Gibbs also competed at Capital Challenge in 2019 where they won the North American Equitation Championship and Best Equitation Horse. Cent went on to win Best Equitation Horse at USET Finals after clinching fourth place. The pair then earned third at Washington International Horse Show’s Equitation Finals to round out a successful first season together. Each of these top finishes set the stage for winning the 2020 ASPCA Maclay Finals. A tumultuous season complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic made preparing for the sport’s ultimate equitation competition a littler tougher than usual. However, the extra time at home gave Gibbs and Cent more opportunities to perfect the basics without worrying about forthcoming competitions. It paid off in a big way. Madden, who also won Maclay Finals back in 1987, was on hand to guide her student to victory.
USEF Network named Gibbs’ performance one of the best moments of 2020 during their annual year-end review. Here are the three jumping rounds that swept Cent and Gibbs to top prize:
Cent’s progeny, several of which are now competing in Europe, show every indication of following in their sire’s [horse] shoes. The frozen sperm his prior owners had the foresight to collect is available through Tom de Bel of Equestrix Agency. Advanced preservation technology allows stallions to sire foals over the course of decades. Mares, on the other hand, have a shorter fertile window. Many are bred at two or three years old before going on to be competition horses. However, a talented mare is just as important as a talented stallion in breeding.
HorseScents is proud to have worked with Cent during highly competitive championship shows to provide effective calming relief from the stress of shipping between venues. Soothing lavender scents helped (apply-named) Cent seamlessly transition between shows to give Gibbs his best rides. The HorseScents team cannot wait to see what the next few years have in store for this pair!