It was a thrilling finish for Canadian showjumping fans as the CSIO4* event in Coapexpan, Mexico, was concluded with the Grand Prix Veracruz on Sunday. Three Canadian riders finished in the top five, with past Nations Cup team representative and Olympic hopeful Ben Asselin riding the 10-year old Holsteiner stallion Veyron (Conterno Grande x Heartbreaker) to victory.
Only eleven combinations were eligible to return for the second round over 2016 Olympic course designer Guilherme Jorge's track. Of the eleven returning, seven competitors were clear in the first round. The second round proved a difficult track, and it was 22-year-old Asselin who delivered the unmatched double clear performance.
“The entire facility at Coapexpan is second to none, the footing is perfect, the people are so kind and accommodating and the sport was very exciting,” said Asselin after. “I have an incredible group of horses underneath me thanks to the team at Attaché Stables and with Veyron I feel that I have another incredible Grand Prix horse. He has answered every call I have asked of him and he just never quits. I’m so excited to the future with these incredible horses.”
Asselin and his team at Attaché Stables will now head back with the horses to Calgary, Alberta over the next week to get settled back at the home farm prior to the up coming Spruce Meadows CSI5* Summer Series, beginning in June.
Runner-up in the 1.60 Grand Prix that counted 42 riders was home rider Gustavo Ramos on the 12-year-old gelding Issi Miaki (Casa Grande x Cardento), who was the fastest of the two riders on one time fault in round two. Canada's Eric Lamaze also recorded a single time penalty, but was slightly slower than Ramos, and had to settle for third on Coco Bongo (Caretino x Calido) after a clear first round.
Fourth place went to another Canadian rider; Tiffany Foster on the 17-year-old veteran Southwind VDL (Baloubet du Rouet x Ahorn). The pair had the fastest time in the second round, but on the expense of a rail. Brazil's Rodrigo Lambre finished fifth aboard Chapilot (Chacco-Blue x Pilot), also with four faults in round two.
Source: Press release from Advantage Show Jumping // Picture © Advantage Show Jumping
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