Mon Gamin

©2007 by Nancy Jaffer

Classy, clever and colorful: Cloverleaf Farm's Mon Gamin is a ride to remember in the jumper ring. Just ask former equitation star Brianne Goutal, who rose through the junior jumper ranks aboard this 12-year-old Selle Francais--and then won again with him during her rookie season in the "major leagues."The son of Bon Ami, who carried Belgian Eric Wauters in the 1996 Olympics, Mon Gamin looks more like a Pinto pony than a top jumper-hence his nickname, "Pinto." But put him on course with the clock ticking, and what he lacks in power and stride length he makes up for in cleverness and heart.

Purchased by Goutal's family as a 6-year-old, Mon Gamin was believed to have hit his limit in the 1.30m or 1.35m jumper classes. For a period in 2005, Brianne's sister Clementine took the reins, but they failed to "click." With Brianne back in the saddle for 2006, Mon Gamin collected 10 more low junior jumper victories.

In the spring of 2007, the "pony" silenced all doubters by jumping to greater heights than ever before. He and Brianne started by winning two installments of the $6,000, 1.40m Acorn Hill Farm Challenge in Wellington, Florida. That summer, the pair went on to clinch the $45,000 Junior Essex Troop Grand Prix at the Garden State (New Jersey) show. Their streak continued in the High Amateur-Owner Jumper Championship at Lake Placid, New York and the $3,000 NAL Open Jumper Speed Stake at Monmouth County, New Jersey.

Described by Brianne as "honest" and "careful," Mon Gamin continued to surpass her expectations. As she told Phelps Media, "Everybody made fun of me for wanting to show him in the 1.40m, but he's the best horse ever."

Mon Gamin's Breyer model