Xalapa, Veracruz. México May 7, 2017 – It is the fourth time the CSIO has taken place here, but celebrating 20 years of equestrian tournaments, the Chedraui Family once again hosted the Team Competition of North America. For the Nations Cup Mexico presented two teams, only one for points, while USA and Canada one each.
Guilherme Jorge from Brazil was the course designer, and presented a 1.60m course where time was a factor to consider. Two riders, Antonio Maurer from México and Keean White from Canada, were prevented from having a double clear by having time penalties. Only three clear rounds were produced: one in the first round by Olympian Antonio Chedraui, and two in the second round: Keean White from Canada and Alison Robitaille from USA.
Mexico was leading after the first round, clinched by the clear round of Chedraui and Ninloubet totaling six faults, one by Maurer and five from Fernández from a leg in the water of his horse Landpeter do Faroleto plus a time fault. The United States team was very close with nine faults: one time point by Quentin Judge and four each from Peter Lutz and Christianne Sternlicht. The other Mexican team and the Canadians were far behind with 20 and 25 points each.
In the second round Canada put all together and had a better result adding only nine faults: one rail down for Spruce Meadows rider Christopher Surbey and five for Vanesa Mannix (she won the Grand Prix the prior week) added to the clear round of Keean White. The second Mexican Team fell apart adding 17 faults despite the two four faults rounds of Pizarro and Francisco Pasquel.
The Team commanded by Robert Ridland made their best with two faour faults rounds by Judge and Sternlicht, scratching Peter Lutz round of twelve. When Alison enter in the second round Team Mexico was already out of reach, so despite a wonderful clear round finished in second place.
Team Mexico won the Nation’s Cup in Coapexpan for second year in a raw. Both Patricio Pasquel and Babel (the rider is the owner and breeder) and Federico Fernández with his new horse by Landitter: Landpeter Do Faroleto had one rail down adding one for time for Fernández, and only one point for Maurer, so adding nine to the six in the previous round was enough to save Chedraui’s horse a second round. This decision, however, may be harmful after Langley, as in case of a tie the clear rounds are the tie breaker. The three teams have to fight very hard next month in Canada as only 10 points between each team separates them: USA 180, México 170, Canada 160 and far away El Salvador with 55. Only two will qualify to the Final in Barcelona by the end of September. The result of this Nation’s Cup was first for Mexico with 15, second USA with 16, third Canada with 33 and fourth the other Mexican Team with 37.
Then on Sunday the Grand Prix, with nine countries and 37 riders represented (only one horse per rider allowed) was contested also at the 1.60m level. Fifteen were qualified to the second round, six clears, one with two faults from Gerardo Pasquel (the third brother in the Pasquel Clan), seven with four and one with eight. Canadian Vanesa Mannix who had problems in the water jump in the first round of the Nation’s Cup with Grand Cru, but who was able to resolve the problem in the second round, found again this jump too scary for her horse who after two refusals were eliminated. Patricio Pasquel with Careyes and U25 Andrés Azcárraga run with the same bad luck. Several riders retired after many faults like Surbey and Ramsey from Canada, Zendejas from Mexico, Esteves and Lambre from Brazil.
Six accomplished a double clear and went into the jump off. The third round seems big enough, and the first in the course was four time Olympian Jaime Azcárraga with Anton. Their time of 37.28 seconds seems fast enough, but not for Juan M. Luzardo from Uruguay who riding Stan were able to knock out a couple of seconds finishing in 35.36. Luzardo was very lucky, as pathfinder in the first round incurred a time fault, but the time was corrected after the third rider went in. Next was Adrianne Sternlicht from the USA riding Cristalline who was the faster in the jump off finishing in 33.86, but the very last fence came down. Spaniard Paola Amilibia and US Alison Robitaille were clear but in a more conservative time, finishing in fourth and third respectively.
Story and photos by: Eduardo Tame