By Vasco Flores
Do you have any competition-day routines or rituals? Do you think it’s a good thing for riders to have routines to help with nerves or to keep them focused?
Horse shows are growing rapidly, so changes in start times are common. Showing up on time would be my only routine—having plenty of time to make any last-minute adjustments to your plan can make a world of difference. It’s a very personal thing to have a pre-ride routine; however, I don’t like having them because I feel they can become a crutch to the rider. Keeping it simple and focusing on the task at hand is my best advice.
When you’re looking for people to work for you, what qualities are you looking for?
It’s important to me to have someone that is positive and enthusiastic—I’m a product of that! Showing up at a job for years with the correct frame of mind gave me the opportunity to progress to the position I’m in now. It’s a hard thing to master. Most days at work are hard and a product of stress and friction, but keeping that A+ attitude towards your employers, team and peers will position you on the route for success in no time.
What do you think are important qualities for a rider to possess?
Relentlessness and passion are qualities that stand out to me. As a rider, your passion for the sport will be questioned on a regular basis. Ups and downs are very common, and having a positive attitude in those difficult moments is a quality that will make you stand out to your peers.
How have the people who have worked for you helped Highport to grow into what it is today?
Highport’s growth comes from a group of fantastic professionals that put out great effort for us to be successful. Vets, blacksmiths, barn managers and grooms work together to give our horses, students and owners the best experience possible. I could not be prouder of the team we’ve built around us. As we all know, our sport presents many challenges, and having the correct team in place makes those hardships easier to manage. At the show ring, it may look like an individual sport, but it takes a village to produce that winning result we all crave. I’m very grateful for my team.
Vasco was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and began riding at the age of 12. After graduating from college, Vasco was invited to participate in a clinic held at the Centro Ecuestre de Puerto Rico with esteemed show jumping trainer Jimmy Doyle. As the most outstanding rider of the clinic, Vasco was invited to a three-day visit at Georgina Bloomberg’s Gotham Enterprises in Wellington, Florida, where he later got a job in 2012.
Photo by Four Oaks Creative