Martien van der Hoeven Wins the Welcome Again at Pin Oak Charity Horse Show

April 4, 2024 – Katy, TX – For the second week in a row, Martien van der Hoeven earned a Welcome Stake win at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show in Katy, TX. This time, van der Hoeven kicked off Week II at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center on Wednesday, April 3, with a win in the $10,000 Brazos Valley Equine Hospital Welcome Stake aboard Candy of Picobello Z.

Van der Hoeven and the 9-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding were the fourth of 22 entries to take on the first-round course set by course designer Oscar Soberon, and following the immediate jump-off format, they were the second to jump off, setting the time to beat at 40.306 seconds. 

“I wanted to be double clean,” said van der Hoeven. “I felt like I gave it a good go without risking too much. Obviously, with the numbers being up this week, I didn’t know if it was actually going to hold up by the time another 20-something horses went.”

Hold up it did indeed, with young rider Avery Erickson coming the closest to catching van der Hoeven. Aboard her own Chacco Lait, Erickson stopped the clock in 40.738 seconds to take second place and the win in the $5,000 Corient U25 Welcome Stake held concurrently.

Avery Erickson and Chacco Lait. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Finishing in third place with a jump-off time of 41.615 seconds were Daniel Bedoya and Londonlike, owned by Monica Hanks.

Following the gelding’s win on Wednesday, Candy of Picobello Z will next contest Thursday’s $25,000 EPIC Sporthorses Grand Prix with owner Avery Griffin.

“[Candy of Picobello Z] is a horse that the Griffin family got last year in Florida,” said van der Hoeven. “We’ve been developing him along; Avery normally competes in the U25 and High Junior Jumper division. He’s quite a good horse, and he’s getting more and more consistent at this height.”

For van der Hoeven, who operates Marlac Farm in Pinehurst, TX – less than an hour away from the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show – Pin Oak is the ideal event to continue to develop horses, to accomplish goals and to earn memorable victories.

“These three weeks are really nice,” said van der Hoeven of the shows that he has been competing at for more than 20 years. “The course designers are always good all three weeks. Oscar [Soberon] is great. He designs at [the Winter Equestrian Festival] and all over, so we’ve jumped his courses a fair amount. He’s very reliable, and you know what you’re going to get.”

Van der Hoeven continued, “For all of us who have grown up here and been here, I think that this show holds a lot of significance. We’ve watched people that we look up to win and cheered for them. I won my first kind of bigger grand prix here on a very special horse, [South Bound], quite a few years ago. That was very important, and last week both my students Avery [Griffin] and Ava [Myers] were first and second [in the grand prix], so that was pretty fun. It was Avery’s first grand prix win, and to do it here I think holds a lot of value for all of us that call Texas home.”

For full results of Wednesday’s the $10,000 Brazos Valley Equine Hospital Welcome Stake, click here or visit

Also earning wins in the Main Ring throughout the day were the following:

Competition at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show continues through Sunday, April 14, with highlights of Week II including the $50,000 R-C Ranch Grand Prix on Saturday, April 6, beginning at 7 p.m. To learn more, visit

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