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Luciana Lossio dazzles in $385,000 Bainbridge Companies CSI5* Grand Prix

Sunday, 10 March 2024
CSI5*/CSI2* Winter Equestrian Festival 2024 (W9)

Photo © Sportfot Luciana Lossio & Lady Louise Jmen, winners of the $385,000 Bainbridge Companies CSI5* Grand Prix. Photo © Sportfot.


Press release from Wellington International



Luciana Lossio (BRA) found out she would jump her first-ever five-star last Sunday night. Just under a week later, she stood atop the podium of the $385,000 Bainbridge Companies CSI5* Grand Prix during the ninth week of international competition at Wellington International’s Winter Equestrian Festival. In front of a buzzing 'Saturday Night Lights’ crowd, the 49-year-old rider guided long-time partner Lady Louise Jmen to a win she never dreamed of having.

“This is unbelievable for me; I've been with this mare for six years and in the beginning I just wanted to jump 1.20m, but we became so much more,” said Lossio of her 14-year-old mare. “We went higher and higher, and today I'm here in my first five-star and winning alongside these riders that I just enjoy watching."

“She's so confident; she doesn’t change from day to night or from the grass to the sand; she’s perfect,” continued Lossio of Lady Louise Jmen. 

Lossio returned in the penultimate position in a four-horse jump-off over courses masterfully designed by Ireland’s Alan Wade. To cheers from her family on the sidelines—many of whom traveled from Brazil to watch her compete—Lossio bested the current leading time of Nayel Nassar (EGY) by fourth tenths of a second. 

Photo © Sportfot Nayel Nassar & Igor van de Wittemoere placed second. Photo © Sportfot.

“Friday was International Women's Day, so I think they may have let me win because of that,” said Lossio, an amateur who works full time as a lawyer in Brazil. “Tonight was our night. In the warmup, she was telling me, ‘I want to go.’ She’s very strong and I have to be there trying to keep her in my hands because she really likes to jump.” 

Nassar settled for second riding Igor van de Wittemoere (Cooper van de Heffinck x Oralando) for owner Evergate Stables. Nassar and the mount he took to the Tokyo Olympic Games clocked in at 39.57 seconds behind Lossio’s 39.15. 

“I think we can all agree when we walked the course tonight that it was quite a meaty track; a lot of oxers at the end of the course and the triple combination at fence 10,” said Nayel. “It was tough, but Alan does a great job opening up the horses and then asking them to close.

“We know each other inside out, but at the same time I still feel like I'm learning more about him every round,” continued Nayel about his longtime partnership with Igor van de Wittemoere. “We're tweaking our training, tweaking the bridle, always just trying to find the right connection because he is such an active, buzzy horse. Every round this circuit he's gotten better, and he felt fantastic tonight. When they're 16-years-old and you feel like that was one of the best rounds they've jumped, it's something we take a lot of pride in.”

Photo © Sportfot Karl Cook & Kalink van’t Zorgvliet finished third. Photo © Sportfot.

Leading off over the short course, U.S. Pan American Games rider Karl Cook and Kalinka van’t Zorgvliet (Thunder vd Zuuthoeve), owned by Helen Signe Ostby, stopped the timers at 39.9 second for third. Riders from three different countries filled the top-three positions, showcasing the depth of competition at WEF during the 2024 season. 

“It's always interesting going first in the jump-off because it's a different dynamic than when you go later,” said Cook, who posted the exact same placing in this five-star grand prix during the 2023 season as he built his horse up to shine at the end of the winter circuit. “You obviously know you want to go as fast as possible, but you haven't seen anyone go yet so the smartest thing to do is to go as quick as you can without being reckless. Kalinka was laser focused tonight and I could feel that.”

Finishing just off the podium in fourth with Otis Blue, Shane Sweetnam earned the Martha Jolicoeur Leading International Rider Award, presented together with Michael and Wendy Smith. His consistency throughout the week included a top-ten finish in the Adequan® WEF challenge Cup qualifier on Thursday with James Kann Cruz.

To cap the evening, Lossio’s groom and Lady Louise Jmen’s caregiver, Ronan Silveir, was presented with the $500 Grooms Award by Double H Farm. Additionally, as winners of the Bainbridge Companies CSI5* Grand Prix, Lossio and Lady Luise Jmen were presented with the Herman ‘Kappy’ Kaplan Perpetual Memorial Trophy.

Photo © Sportfot Luciana Lossio, Nayel Nassar and Karl Cook atop the podium for the $385,000 Bainbridge Companies CSI5* Grand Prix, presented by Jennifer and Richard Schechter, Chairman and CEO of the Bainbridge Companies. Photo © Sportfot.

Richard Schechter, Chairman and CEO of the Bainbridge Companies, was on hand to congratulate all the night’s competitors, saying, “We had a tremendous number of fabulous riders and horses, but only four were able to go clear. The jump-off was exceptional. We love this show. As far as I'm concerned, if it went 20 weeks, we’d be here all 20. We're extremely happy that we can help out in any way. It's a great event with great riders and horses.”


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