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Helios can't be stopped in Monterrey

Monday, 07 November 2022
CSI5* MLSJ Monterrey 2022

Photo © Ashley Neuhof / MLSJ. Team podium featuring winner Helios, runner-up Trailblazers and third-place Eye Candy. Photo © Ashley Neuhof / MLSJ.


Press release from Major League Show Jumping



Helios has perfected a winning formula. The team stormed to a staggering fifth victory in the CSI5* MLSJ Team Competition at Club Hípico La Silla in Monterrey, Mexico, on Sunday. Eugenio Garza (MEX), Karl Cook (USA) and Simon McCarthy (IRL) were tapped for the team this week by manager Ashlee Bond (ISR), and dominated in front of an eager crowd over tracks built by Anthony D'Ambrosio (USA).

A first-round clear from hometown hero Garza and Victer Finn DH Z, a 14-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Va Vite x Stakkato), set Helios on course for yet another win. Solid performances in the second round from Garza and Simon McCarthy riding Gotcha, an 11-year-old Holsteiner mare (Stakkato x Cassini I), sent Cook to the gold-medal match against Trailblazers' Patricio Pasquel (MEX).

Photo © Ashley Neuhof / MLSJ. Karl Cook and Caillou 24. Photo © Ashley Neuhof / MLSJ.

Selected as the anchor, Cook and Caillou 24, a 15-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Casall x San Patrignano Corrado), were last to go and did exactly what they needed for gold. 

Helios has also clocked MLSJ team wins this season in Vancouver, BC, Traverse City, MI, Toronto, ON, and most recently in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, just two weeks ago. 

Trailblazers' Pasquel, Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Lillie Keenan (USA) settled for the silver medal, while 2021 series champions Eye Candy continue to creep up the standings after a bronze-medal finished from the all-Irish squad of Paul O'Shea, Conor Swail and team rookie Richie Moloney.

A word from the winners

Photo © Ashley Neuhof / MLSJ. Simon McCarthy and Gotcha. Photo © Ashley Neuhof / MLSJ.

"The goal is usually about speed in the first round, but here it didn't matter. So, it was just about as little faults as possible. We put the two boys in for the second round because they were going to be faster than me, or we felt that there was more likelihood of them being able to take more risks. Putting me into the gold-medal round meant I just had to beat one person. Thankfully, our plan worked and we're here," Karl Cook said.

"I think a big part of why it's been such a fun team is because even the riders like Ashlee that are not riding today are involved. Knowing what we had to do today was all based on the communication that we got from both Bliss and Ashlee, and I think they were instrumental in securing the win. It helps to have a team that is so eager to win, and I think we all want to win," Eugenio Garza said.

Photo © Ashley Neuhof / MLSJ. Eugenio Garza and Victer Finn DH Z. Photo © Ashley Neuhof / MLSJ.

"We've said throughout the season that there's no weak link at all. That's a very good feeling to go in there knowing that you can give it your all and no matter what happens, the team is going to be happy with you. As the least experienced rider on the team, having all of the experience around me gives me confidence in the ring, and I can definitely feel my horses rising to that as well," Simon McCarthy added.

"I think we can all say that the better the camaraderie is, the better you do in the ring. We're just a group of friends, we all came together with the same goal and we all really love each other. We're like a big family and it's paying off. The proof is in the winning. So, here we go for the last three," Ashlee Bond said.

MLSJ will return to Club Hípico La Silla in Monterrey, Mexico, for stage 8 of MLSJ next week from November 10-13.

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