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Highlights from the Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup at CHIO Aachen 2024, part one

Wednesday, 10 July 2024
CHIO Aachen 2024

Last Thursday's CSIO5* 1.60m €1 million Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup at CHIO Aachen 2024 saw ten world-class teams head into a battle over Frank Rothenberger's 12-fence track, with only eight spots on offer for the second round. 

And while Ireland reigned supreme to claim the victory, Mexico took a historical second place – stealing hearts at Soers with their quartet of Nicolas Pizarro on Pia Contra, Andres Azcarraga on Contendros 2, Federico Fernandez on Romeo and Eugenio Garza Perez on Contago. “We come here, it is magic all the way around. When you enter into this arena, it is like goosebumps, it is traditional and it has been a dream for all of us here," Federico Fernandez said on behalf of the whole Mexican team that finished second.

Above, Mexico’s pathfinder Nicolas Pizarro celebrates a clear round with the wonderful mare Pia Contra.

And with this photo special, we look back at the action in round one of Thursday's Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup at the Soers. 

All photos © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping. No reproduction of any of the content in this article will be accepted without a written permission, all rights reserved © World of If copyright violations occur, a penalty fee will apply.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. As the Irish pathfinders, Denis Lynch and Vistogrand had a hairy moment on the first fence of the course but pulled it together to bring it home on a score on four faults.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. The luck was not on the side of this year's CHIO Aachen-partner country USA, as Laura Kraut and Baloutinue were the only combination that delivered a clear for the Stars and Stripes.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. The Mexican team that got a wildcard to compete in Aachen came in with all guns blazing – here their pathfinders, Nicolas Pizarro and the lovely Pia Contra crossing the finish-line with some of their loud supporters cheering them on.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Koen Vereecke and Kasanova de La Pomme picked up four faults for the Belgians.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Willem Greve and Pretty Woman van'T Paradijs got the Dutch team off to a good start when delivering a clear.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Switzerland's Steve Guerdat and Venard de Cerisy jumped one of the 24 clears in round one.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Iliana and Henrik von Eckermann, the current world number one, stretching over the finish-line, putting the first clear on the board for the Swedes.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Great Britain's Ben Maher and Dallas Vegas Batilly showed great form, and jumped double clear for the Brits...

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. did Francois Xavier Boudant and Brazyl du Mezel for the French...

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. ... and Ireland's second-to-go, Bertram Allen and Pacino Amiro.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Out of The Blue SCF and Katie Dinan picked up four penalties for the U.S. team.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Flying the Mexican flag: Andres Azcarraga and Contendros 2 gave the Mexican supporters all the reason to celebrate by adding nothing to their score of zero in round one.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Keeping the hosts' hopes alive: Jana Wargers and Limbridge delivered a much needed clear for the Germans in round one.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Spot the orange fan...

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Janika Sprunger and Orelie were part of the Swiss squad that did not make the cut to the second round. The pair picked up four faults.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Aurelien Leroy and Croqsel de Blaignac's eight penalties ended up being the French drop-score.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Ireland's Shane Sweetnam and the impressive James Kann Cruz flying towards what would be one of three clears for Michael Blake's quartet in round one.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Natalie Dean and Acota M added another four to the U.S. team score.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. As the third pair out for the Belgians, Thibeau Spits and King van Essene were the first pair from Peter Weinberg's crew to keep all the fences intact.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Once again, the Swedes were flawless in round one, delivering four clears – here Amanda Landeblad and For Killy.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Much to the joy of the sold-out Soers, Kendra Clariacia Brinkop and the 9-year-old Tabasco de Toxandria jumped a beautiful clear to keep the hosts' dreams alive.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Determined is an understatement: Petronella Andersson and Opaline de W&S were on a mission for the Swedes.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. The golden hour at Soers.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Robert Whitaker and the home-bred Vermento went clear for the British team in round one.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Olivier Robert and Iglesias D.V. taking a moment before setting of on Frank Rothenberger's track.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. When the light hits just right: Mclain Ward and Ilex.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Eugenio Garza Perez and the wonderful Contago helped the Mexican team end the first round on a score of zero.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. A pair you can count on: Belgium's Nicola Philippaerts and Katanga V.H Dingeshof jumped double clear.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. No luck on home soil: Christian Kukuk and Mumbai collected eight penalties in round one.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Martin Fuchs and Commissar Pezi could not salvage the Swiss score when they saw a pole fall at 5c – leaving them out of the second round.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. On form when you need them the most: Scott Brash and Hello Jefferson delivered for the Brits.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Over the moon: The Mexican team was in high spirits after round one.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. With three clear rounds from his team-mates, Sweden's Peder Fredricson could have opted to skip the first round. However, he went in with Alcapone des Carmille and delivered another flawless round – keeping the tension at a max between the Swedes, Ireland, Mexico, Great Britain and the Netherlands who were all sitting on a score of zero.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Round two went on without Switzerland and USA.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Stay tuned for more action!

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