ITALIAN LORENZO DE LUCA RIDES HALIFAX VAN HET KLUIZEBOS TO A WELL-EARNED VICTORY IN THE BANORTE CUP

All complete results of the the first leg of the 2017 Longines Global Champions League in Mexico City (MEX) with all information on the participating horses and riders that you can find here

April 7, 2017 - Mexico City, MX As All in attendance for today’s CSI5* Banorte Cup witnessed show jumping at its finest. Delivered with thrills and spills, heartbreak rails and a superb five-horse jump-off, the memorable event closed with Italy’s supremely talented Lorenzo de Luca leading the victory gallop. Riding Stephex Stables’ ten-year-old Belgian stallion Halifax van het Kluizebos, the twenty-nine-year-old de Luca was first clear over a decidedly difficult course set by fellow Italian Uliano Vezzani. Illustrating why he currently sits tenth in the Longines FEI World Rankings, de Luca laid down an unbeatable trip in the jump-off.  

The sixteen effort course covered the expansive Campo Marte grass field and included three combinations, a solid wall painted with the Aztec pyramids, light plank jumps, a challenging penultimate line coming home, and a wide, ramped oxer away from the in-gate as the final fence. The track demanded focus, scope, adjustability, and connection all within a tight time allowed. The forty-nine entries experienced a variety of trouble spots, especially towards the end of the course. Twelve riders finished with heartbreaking scores that kept them ever so slightly out of the jump-off. Alberto Zorzi (ITA) and Federico Fernandez (MEX) left all the jumps up but finished with one time fault each. Harrie Smolders (NED) had a light tap at fence three for four faults. Albert Said (EGY), Gregory Wathelet (BEL), Jane Richard Philips (SUI), Ales Opatrny (CZE), and Marco Kutscher (GER) each had one rail in the challenging penultimate line. To add to the thrills, Simon Delestre (FRA), Yuri Mansur (BRA), Max Kuhner (AUT), and Eric Lamaze (CAN) each had only the final oxer down. Six of those four fault scores also had one time fault. Heartbreaking scored aside, several riders met their matches at fence 10, the Aztec wall, and suffered crashes, refusals, and even dismounts.

Five standout competitors successfully answered all the questions asked on course to return for the jump-off. De Luca lead the pack, double clean and quite quick in 36.30, forcing the others to be both clean and fast. Next in, Belgium’s Niels Bruynseels and Angel van T Hof hit the clean mark but came in too slow in 37.52. Jerome Guery (BEL) had the time with Garfield de Tiji Des Templiers but a bold gallop to the final oxer cost him four faults in 35.50. Clean but not fast enough, The Netherland’s Leopold van Asten and VDL Groep Beauty finished in 37.99.

CARLOS HANK AND MARKET IRMINKA SWEEP THE BROXEL TROPHY

The Broxel Trophy, a 1.45m speed class, went to young Carlos Hank (MEX) and his mount Market Irminka, an eleven-year-old Anglo European mare.  The sixteen-year-old show jumper topped an international field of 42 entries.

Brazilian course designer Anderson Lima designed a twelve obstacles track that proved tricky to jump both clear and fast. Of the forty-two competitors, only nine were fault-free, one scored a single time fault, and sixteen had just one rail. Galloping in twelfth and producing the first clean trip was Uruguay’s Juan Manuel Lozardo aboard his veteran partner, the eleven-year-old Hanoverian gelding Stan, with a time of 65.21. A handful of rounds later, Nicolas Pizarro (MEX) and Temascaltepec came close to catching Luzardo, with a time of 65.62. Ultimately, these two were pushed down to third and fourth when the twenty-ninth and thirtieth competitors wowed the cheering crowd with blazing, faultless rounds. Hank cruised to a clean and quick finish in 62.67, taking the lead. Next to go, Jose Alberto Martinez (MEX) and the eleven-year-old Selle Francais gelding Sultan de Guerpe came within one fifth of a second of Hank, going clean in 62.87 and taking over the second place spot.

THE AZIMUT TROPHY GOES TO COLOMBIA’S JOHN PEREZ AND CHIANTI CLASSICO

Day Two of the Longines Global Champions Tour Mexico City commenced with the green glass of Campo Marte glistening in the sun, welcoming the CSI2* competitors for the Azimut Trophy. With 68 entries in the 1.35m class, including professionals, amateurs, and juniors alike, it was the 67th rider in the ring, John Perez (COL), who took the top prize riding his ten-year-old Dutch mare Chianti Classico.

The only two of those double clean competitors to stop the clock in under 30 seconds were Perez in 28.59 and junior rider Luciana Gonzalez on the ten-year-old Dutch mare Carmily in 28.91. Slick and stylish in both phases, Gonzalez rode tenth in the order and held the lead for through the next fifty-seven entries, until Perez slipped into first by 0.32 seconds.