Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 23, 2019 – Riding for their countries, the greatest share of the prize money and valuable points towards the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final in Barcelona, Spain, in October, patriots from USA, Mexico, Canada, Colombia, Israel and Ireland showcased their talents on Sunday in the $290,000 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of the United States of America CSIO5*.
Finishing on an impressive score of 4 faults accrued over two rounds of competition, the four-member team from Mexico surpassed the rest of the field to emerge victorious. Relive all of the action from the finale event of the second week of the 2019 CP Palm Beach Masters Series on Horse & Country TV (H&C TV) on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 9 p.m. EST.
Led by Eugenio Garza Perez aboard Victer Finn DH Z and Manuel Gonzalez Dufrane with the ride on Hortensia Van De Leeuwerk, thanks to their double-clear rides, two of only three pairs to accomplish the feat, Team Mexico led the class from start to finish to capture the top spot on the podium.
“It feels good,” said Perez. “We knew that we had a good team. Mexico has great riders and horses. These three riders are amazing. I was really happy to help pull out the win.”
Following round one, Mexico held a commanding early lead, having best mastered course designer Alan Wade’s (IRL) 15-fence track. With only one rail down between the four partnerships and the ability to drop one score, the Mexican troupe retained an impressive cumulative tally of zero.
Riding in reverse order of the team standings, Mexico had the advantage of tackling the track last in the second round. First back for the leading team, Fernando Martinez Sommer and Cor Bakker turned in a strong round with only a single rail down, while Perez and Victer Finn DH Z produced their second penalty-free ride. Moving towards the conclusion of the class, Juan JoseZendejas Salgado took to the ring with Tino La Chapelle as the third to ride for Mexico. The pair ultimately lowered two fences to earn 8 faults, which would end up being the drop score.
Sending the Mexican representatives into uproarious applause, team anchors Dufrane and Hortensia Van De Leeuwerk left all of the rails up, effectively securing the gold medal for his team.
Maintaining their round one score of 9 faults with three clear rides throughout the second phase, Daniel Bluman, Danielle Goldstein, Ilan Ferder and Ashlee Bond of Israel were awarded the silver medal, followed by the United States, who earned the bronze medal with a composite score of 12 faults.
Sunday’s event served as the kick-off to the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ series and the only qualifier in the United States for the year-end finale. North American challengers will be offered two more chances to earn a spot at Nations Cup competitions in Coapexpan, Mexico, and Langley, Canada, later this spring. With Mexico’s victory, they head into the next jewel of the series on their home turf boasting 100 points towards the flagship competition, trailed by the United States’ 80 points and Canada’s 60 points in the North and Central America and Caribbean League.
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