Exclusive Interview: How Does Robert Mendoza of Bannockburn Farm LLC Pick His Next Top Horse?


Exclusive Interview: How Does Robert Mendoza of Bannockburn Farm LLC Pick His Next Top Horse?

Mar. 14,2016
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Robert Mendoza is the head trainer at Bannockburn Farm LLC. He is multitalented in all aspects of horse training, Robert is gifted in starting youngsters across multiple disciplines as well as taking the more experienced horse to achieve its maximum potential in the jumper arena. With this experience in mind we picked Robert to be our next interviewee and asked him to share some of his expertise with us when it comes to training and finding his next top horse.

Robert riding his now retired Grand Prix horse, Andiamo Pyon, a 1997 BWP gelding (Andiamo Z x Lord Gotthard). Photo courtesy of Kezie Mendoza.

PE - What characteristics must the horse have in order for you to consider purchasing?

RM - I look for a horse that has a good feel off the ground, has quick feet and a good canter.

PE - Do you have a specific type of horse that you prefer or that you've found to have the most success with? Perhaps they don't move as well but have an incredible jump or vice versa.

RM - I want a horse that loves to jump, I like a horse that is always looking for the next jump and gives me their best effort when they get there

Jewel B (Shawn McMillen photography). 7y/o BWP mare (Couleur Rubin x Wellington) bred by Bannockburn Farm LLC competing in YJC. 2015 8th place finisher Midwestern 6Y/O Finals, 2014 4th place finisher Midwestern 5Y/O Finals. Owned by USA Young Jumpers. This mare was started by Robert.

PE - Do you try to stay within a specific age range when trying horses?

RM - 5-7 is my ideal age bracket, they are young enough to have a lot of years left, but old enough that they can start competing fairly quickly once they arrive in the US

Florian (Lili Weik photo) - imported fall of 2015, 6y/o KWPN gelding (Clinton x Heartbreaker) competing in the YJC. Owned by Coruscant Stables, Robert found this horse in Belgium.

PE - Do you think the horses physical capability or mental attitude are more important?

RM - Heart and brains is what I ideally want in a horse, it needs to have physical ability but if it doesn't want to do its job all the physical ability in the world won't help you when things get complicated.   A smart horse is trainable and if it has heart it will give you a good effort at every jump.

Java van de Kleinheide (Christina Gray Parker Photo). 7y/o BWP mare (Thunder van de Zuuthoeve x Clinton) owned by Bannockburn Farm LLC, competing in the YJCs. Robert found this horse for Bannockburn Farm owner, Allyn McCracken in Belgium in late 2015. She will participate in Bannockburn’s breeding program as well as continue competing.

PE - What are some of the questions that you ask the horses previous owners or whoever you are purchasing the horse from?

RM - I like to know how much the horse has competed to know if it has been overworked.  I also like to know how long they have owned the horse.  I try to see as many videos as I can of the horse competing and I also like to go see the horse in its stall.

Robert starting Nora B, 2013 BWP mare (Presley Boy x Chin Chin). Photo courtesy of Kezie Mendoza. Nora B was bred and is owned by Bannockburn Farm LLC.

PE - Do you prefer to bring along a green horse yourself or a horse that already has experience and training?

RM - Green horses are my preference but I would not be opposed that a horse with some experience, it depends on how I feel when I get on the horse.  I typically make a short list of the horses I've tried and then pick a horse depending on how I feel its potential is relevant to its price.  Sometimes you can get a much more talented horse if you are willing to take your time bringing it along.

A special thank you to Robert Mendoza for taking the time to answer our questions and share some of his insights into the equestrian world. To see the current horses that Robert Mendoza has listed for sale be sure to visit his ProEquest profile!