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Devos delights in Mexico City as countdown to Miami Beach begins

Monday, 26 March 2018
CSI5* LGCT Mexico City 2018

Photo (c) Stefano Grasso/LGCT Pieter Devos won Sunday's Banorte Trophy in Mexico City with Apart. Photo (c) Stefano Grasso/LGCT.

The final day of the Longines Global Champions Tour of Mexico City was a scorcher in all senses of the word. 

With every day on the Longines Global Champions Tour of Mexico City providing world-class sport and spell-binding action, the stakes were raised once again for the big-money concluding 1.55m jump-off class. In a turbo-charged display of horsepower it was Pieter Devos of Belgium who landed a momentous win, just gaining the advantage over Italy’s Lorenzo De Luca and third placed Denis Lynch (IRL).

“I saw Lorenzo go and thought it would be difficult to beat him,” said Devos before galloping round on the final lap of honour of the show. “You had to go full speed from beginning to end in the jump-off, so I’m really happy.”

Sunday’s track was set as a serious test with plenty of jumping efforts, but inviting fences and encouraging lines did little to deter these talented horses and this elite field of 41 riders made the course look relatively comfortable.

Clear rounds came thick and fast but as the faultless rounds racked up to a grand total of 16, a mouthwatering prospect of yet another edge-of-the-seat jump-off unfurled.

“It’s hot today and the horses have already jumped a lot this week so it’s good for the horses’ confidence that they can jump a nice track today,” said Devos after his first round clear. “I have a fast horse but this is his first outdoor show so I have to keep that in mind, but I think I can go for it in the jump-off,” he added, with incredible foresight.

Pathfinder Lorenzo De Luca and the gallant Limestone Grey (Try-Time x breeding unknown) would have been one of the favourites to win this valuable prize and, first away, he pivoted round the tightest of turns and allowed the 12-year-old gelding to open up down the lines. They skipped through the airy double before soaring down over the final oxer for a masterful clear in 36.35 seconds. The Italian speed merchant had set a serious target.

But Miami Celtics GCL hero Denis Lynch always loves a challenge and he powered out of the starting blocks on RMF Echo (Virus de Laubry x Feo). Pushing and encouraging all the way, the pair scooted down the final line just a fraction outside the Italian’s time in 36.41 seconds.

Catapaulting out of the starting blocks, Pieter Devos and the very careful white-faced chestnut Apart (Larino x Burggraaf) spun round the corners and soared straight to the top spot in 35.65.

“The turn to the double was really difficult and you really needed a horse with a lot of experience, so I’m just happy my horse did what I wanted,” said Devos.


Source: Press release from LGCT // Photo © Stefano Grasso/LGCT

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