The build up for the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Mexico starts on Thursday with two CSIO5* classes at the stunning Club Hipico Coapexpan.
As the second qualifier for the North America, Central America and Caribbean Division, it’s a pivotal points earning week for the teams from USA, Canada and Mexico, as each nation vies to qualify for the Final in Barcelona this fall.
Mexico, the breakout stars of the first qualifier in Wellington, USA, currently leads the standings with 100 points, followed by the United States on 80 points. Canada trails in third place with 60 points.
Here’s what we know after Wednesday’s jog.
Mexico is out in force, as to be expected
Some 63 of the 86 horses presented at the international horse inspection were Mexican nationals, including Olympians Jose Antonio Chedraui Eguia and Antonio Maurer, and two-time Central America and Caribbean Games team gold medalist Francisco Pasquel.
It’s safe to say, chef d’equipe Stanny van Paesschen (BEL) had his pick of Mexico for this leg. He’s selected Federico Fernandez, Lorenza O´Farril, Manuel Gonzalez Dufrane, Patricio Pasquel and Salvador Oñate to ride for the red, white and green this week. Gonzalez Dufrane was part of the winning team in Wellington, posting a double clear in his Nations Cup debut.
Canada has a last minute substitution
In a move atypical for the Canadians, Equestrian Canada announced the four riders who would compete for the Maple Leaf in Mexico weeks ago. Chef d’equipe Mark Laskin chose Lisa Carlsen, Jim Ifko, Laura Jane Tidball and Nicole Walker for the task. For Ifko, it’ll be a team debut.
Unfortunately for Tidball, a member of last year’s winning team in Mexico, the week has already ended in disappointment. The BC-native was hospitalized after a riding accident last week in Langley and will not be competing. Rachel Cornacchia is stepping in to fill her boots.
Team USA is playing their cards close to the chest
The Americans have been far more secretive about the riders they’ll be fielding in this week’s Nations Cup. Technically, the team hasn’t even been announced yet. But given that there are only four U.S. riders on the Master Jog list, we’re going to take a leap and say Richard Spooner, Eve Jobs, Alex Granato and Nicole Shahinian-Simpson will be in the stirrups for Team USA.
No other teams will contest this leg
The international roster sees riders from Spain, Israel, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Ireland competing this week at Hipico Coapexpan. None however, have enough rider-power to field a team.