ictured: Gonzalo Azcarraga & Zalerno. Ph. Anwar Esquivel
The North American League Longines FEI World Cup qualifying season marks its second to last stop at a brand new location at Valle de Bravo, Mexico. With ten events complete, just two West Coast, and two East Coast qualifying legs remain before the FEI World Cup Jumping this March in Gothenburg. As the first of those four,Valle de Bravo CSI4* is also the first ever FEI World Cup Qualifying event produced in Mexico.
Setting Latin American records right from the start, 81 International riders representing fourteen countries jogged 175 FEI horses for the week’s competition. Under sunny skies, Wednesday’s Welcome FEI classes set the stage for a fantastic week. Course designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil designed the tracks for a 1.35m class with 72 competitors and for a 1.45m speed class with 43 competitors.
Antonio Maurer of Mexico dominated the 1.35m class, earning 1st, 3rd and 4th in the class aboard Las Palmas Z , Galileo de Laubry and Magnus Jaen Mail respectively. Sneaking into second place was Danish rider Nicolaj Hein Ruus riding Zinancantan.
Full results at this link.
Brazil’s Rodrigo Lambre rode the 10 year old Argentine mare Charielle (owned by Mario Onate B) to the the top of the FEI 1.45m Welcome Speed Stake. His time of 63.04 was over a second faster than second place finisher Gonzalo Azcarraga of Mexico riding his twelve-year-old KWPN stallion Zalernno, who stopped the clock in 64.79. Patricio Pasquel and Carnaval were third, with American Karl Cook aboard Signe Ostby’s Basimodo rounding out the top four.
Surrounded by hills blanketed by ‘arboles’ (trees), Valle de Bravo is 156 km (96 miles) northwest of Mexico City and the home of the Triple Copa (Three Cups), where champions will be awarded in three sports – show jumping, sailing and golf. It is also the home of the World Cup of ‘Parapente’ or Paragliding and the place where thousands of monarch ‘mariposas’ (butterflies) come to winter.
Thursday’s classes will begin with the second FEI 1.35m at 9am (CST), followed by a Young Horse class and the FEI 1.45m qualifying class for Saturday’s Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Qualifier.
View the complete competition schedule here.