Luis Alejandro Plascencia O & Da Vinci. ph:FEI/ Peter Llewellyn.
Heading into the jump-off of his World Cup qualifier debut, 26-year-old Luis Alejandro Plascencia O (MEX) was confident despite the pressure and channeled that to a victory in the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Guadalajara (MEX) CSI4*-W, on January, 27, 2018.
“There was only one clear round, and I knew my horse was naturally faster,” said Plascencia, “and I was confident I could catch [the leader] without going crazy.”
Plascencia, the penultimate competitor in a seven-horse jump-off set by 2016 Rio Olympic Games Course Designer Guillerme Jorge (BRA), guided home the 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion Da Vinci to victory in just his second four-star grand prix, crossing the timers in 40.66s.
“I’ve had my horse for a little more than a year and half now, and he jumped amazing today,” Plascencia said. “He’s very consistent, and today, the track was very, very nice. [Jorge] is my favorite designer. Everything was technical, there were no tricks, there was not a specific hard [area on course where all the rails fell], and well, I loved it!”
“[Davinci] was very, very green (inexperienced) when I got him,” he continued. “He was difficult, but I saw a lot of talent in him. I dedicated twice the time to him than any other horse, and he’s coming up with the goods now.”
Gustavo Ramos (MEX) and his longtime partner Izzy Miaki, the only other combination to produce a double-clear effort on the day, held on to the runner-up position with a time of 42.50s.
“My horse is not the quickest. He’s a bit big and loses some time in the air,” Ramos said. “I wouldn’t change that much [about my jump-off round]. We gave it a shot with our capacity of quickness.”
Defending champions Francisco Pasquel (MEX) and Naranjo finished 3rd, capping a sweep of the top three placings for the host nation.
“I didn’t have any extra pressure [being the defending champion], but I was excited to win. With [others] on really fast horses, I had to take my chance. My plan was to do seven strides to [the liverpool] and nine strides to the [Longines] oxer, but the nine strides came a little bit far,” commented Pasquel. “I had to take my chance, and I’m happy to be third.”
Last to go in the jump-off, Sarah Scheiring (USA) and Dontez knocked a rail at the final fence, earning them a fifth-place finish and the designation of being the highest-placing American pair.
The points accumulated from the effort moved Scheiring from 11th to fifth in the east coast sub league standings of the North American League. The top seven U.S. riders from the east coast will qualify for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Paris (FRA) in April. Jamie Barge (USA) and Luebbo finished 13th and sit fifth in the west coast sub league standings, just a point away from Jenni McAllister (USA), the current cutoff for that sub league.
There are three stops remaining on the 2017-2018 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League calendar. Competition resumes on the east coast in Wellington (USA) on Sunday, 4 February 2018. The west coast sub league concludes in Thermal (USA) on Saturday, 10 February 2018.
The full results can be viewed here.