El Primero

Photo courtesy of Shawn McMillen Photography
(2009 – )
Owned by Bryan Baldwin & Meralex Farm
Inducted: 2020

Photos

Photo courtesy of Shawn McMillen Photography
Photo courtesy of Shawn McMillen Photography
Photo courtesy of Shawn McMillen Photography
It is hard to ignore the name El Primero when talking about the hunters. El Primero, also known as "Primo", is a 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding found at Stal Hendrix by Louise Serio and owned by Bryan Baldwin & Meralex Farm. He has been piloted by seasoned hunter rider Victoria Colvin since early 2019 and the pair have achieved some of the highest honors known to the hunter division including Champion in the Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby and first place in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at Deeridge Farm in Wellington, Florida.

El Primero is trained by Peggy Gehman and Louise Serio. He has competed with Sandy Ferrell, Louise Serio, and Colvin throughout his career in the United States. Colvin's talent paired with advice from El Primero's former rider Serio have led to immense success.

Colvin and El Primero splashed onto the scene in 2019 with a strong performance in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at Deeridge. Colvin and Primo bested a class of 41 of the nation's top horse-and-rider combinations at Deeridge before collecting another win in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Winter Equestrian Festival only a few weeks later. Colvin and El Primero were also a stand-out pair in the High Performance Hunters at WEF 2019. "El Primero has always lived up to his name. His talent and easy way of going made him successful right away," said Serio. "When you have an extraordinary horse and an extraordinary rider [like Victoria Colvin], the magic happens. They're beautiful to watch together."

El Primero made his mark in the 2019 Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship guided by Victoria Colvin, as the duo went on to earn top honors and bested a field of 35 entries. The win marked Colvin's third consecutive champion title in the Hunter Derby Championship and a first for El Primero. The pair received scores of 92, 94 and 95 and finished nearly 25 points ahead of the second-place finisher. Together, they finished with an overall total score of 603 in the year's most prestigious derby competition.

El Primero has captured numerous derby titles throughout his impressive tenure, but his first Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship win will be one to remember, as the pair collected 26 of 30 handy points and earned an additional 12 points for their successful navigation of the four high options on course.

El Primero is a workmanlike and consistent competitor, who enjoys living outdoors in his five-acre pasture at night and has become a beloved member of the Baldwin and Meralex Farm family. Primo has a quiet and straightforward demeanor and is willing to try his hardest every time he enters the ring, which Colvin attributes her success to. “He’s the easiest horse,” shared Colvin. "Every round I’ve had he just goes in there and does his best, and he tries to never do anything wrong." El Primero's success in the hunter ring has earned him the honor of being the 2019 USEF National Horse of the Year.