Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs and Chaplin kicked off the 2017 Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) season with a victory this weekend!
It was the 25-year-old rider’s first time competing in Mexico, first LGCT Grand Prix win and his horse’s first outdoor 5* class. *hooray*
We could share his quotes from the press release. But that suggestion made John fall asleep at his desk so we decided against it. (John snores. It’s a problem.)
Instead, we bring you “The Day Martin Fuchs Earned His Sombrero” a mostly true dramatic retelling of the inaugural grand prix of the 2017 LGCT season.
The day started off as most Grand Prix Sundays do—with shots of tequila and a five-man mariachi band playing Survivors’ “Eye of the Tiger.”
The course walk ensued.
As is LGCT custom, spectators were entertained with a rousing edition of the Jarabe Tapatío (known to English speakers as the Mexican Hat Dance) in which Edwina Alexandra (AUS) donned a red cooler as a makeshift china poblana and wowed the crowds with her graceful arm sweeping and fancy footwork.
Snorted one guest in a hushed whisper, “She moves like a large winged bird shooing predators away from her nest!”
Which we can only assume is the highest of praises among Mexican folk dancers.
was forcefully removed from the arena concluded her show stopping performance, the class could begin!
An international field of 25, including the likes of Eric Lamaze (CAN), Bertram Allen (IRL), Simon Delestre (FRA) and more, contested Uliano Vezzani’s festive course.
Fuchs, who was in Omaha the just weekend before, said he was particularly grateful for the clearly marked signage reminding him which city he was in that week. #FrequentFlyerProblems
Clearly, his navigation was on point. The Swiss rider went on to post a clear, becoming one of six riders to advance to the jump off.
And that’s when he went into beast mode.
Chasing the time of Niels Bruynseels (BEL) and the ever speedy Gancia de Muze, Fuchs and Chaplin tore up the jump off course. A risk at oxer number three, a gallop into the combination and a daring turn to the next vertical, it was all or nothing.
Racing through the timers, Fuchs’s glanced at the clock. He’d shaved half a second off Bruynseels’ time!
What followed was not one…
But seven fist pumps, thereby setting a new mandatory minimum for all show jumpers to come. Fuchs removed his hunt cap in celebratory fashion and fell lips first onto his horse’s neck. Also in celebratory fashion.
Devastated by his loss, third place finisher Makiel van der Vleuten (NED) hid his head in shame as he raced back to the stable. (Some people just don’t take defeat very well.)
Naturally, Fuchs, who’s name is rarely subject to unfortunate typos, was honored by the victory.
But not nearly so much as when he received his crowning achievement—the coveted Longines sombrero.
“Golf has its green Masters jacket. This sombrero—which doubles as a chip and salsa serving bowl, I’m told—is show jumping’s ultimate prize. I’m delighted!” enthused Fuchs (with his eyes).
(Editor’s note: It probably didn’t hurt that he won over €175,000 through the Longines Global Champions Tour and Global Champions League competitions that week.)
“Congratulations to Martin but I am very happy with my second place,” revealed Bruynseels. “You could say I have zero Fuchs to give.”
And so closes the first chapter in the 2017 LGCT storybook.
Up next: Miami! Wherein one lucky rider will take home the Longines thong bikini!