15 April '24

Z-horses experience fantastic weekend in Mexico City!

H&M Luna Van 't Ruytershof - Nicola Philippaerts - ©LGCT Mexico City

© Longines Global Champions Tour

Gold and silver in last night's LGCT Grand Prix and on top of that also gold in the team competition of the Global Champions League on Saturday night... The 3rd stage of the Longines Global Champions Tour went truly fantastic for the Zangersheide horses last weekend!

The impressive grass arena of Campo Marte in Mexico City is traditionally the setting for the 3rd stage of the Longines Global Champions Tour, where last night's LGCT Grand Prix was, of course, the absolute highlight. Canadian track builder Peter Grant and his team had provided a tough basic course for this Grand Prix where the devil was clearly in the tail. In particular, the white board of obstacle 11 and the coloured double jump of obstacle 13 went down regularly. Of the 38 combinations that appeared at the start of this final round of the weekend, five managed to stay clear in the first round and thus win a ticket for the jump-off. The Zangerheide horses clearly came out on top, as no fewer than three of the five combinations that managed to qualify for the jump-off had a letter Z after their name.

One of them was the Belgian rider Nicola Philippaerts with his 12-year-old chestnut mare H&M Luna van 't Ruytershof Z, a daughter of Levisto Z and For Pleasure bred by Stal 't Ruytershof BVBA, with whom he also made a strong showing at the Longines Global Champions Tour of Miami Beach last week by winning the 1.50m class on Saturday morning. Philippaerts and H&M Luna van 't Ruytershof Z appeared in that jump-off yesterday as the 4th combination back in the ring and with a clear round in 45.03 seconds they managed to write this 3rd LGCT Grand Prix of the season on their record of achievements.

H&M Luna Van 't Ruytershof - Nicola Philippaerts - ©LGCT Mexico City (1)

Nicola Philippaerts: "Luna has a heart of gold, she is a real lioness when she gets in the ring.... and she seems to really like Mexico City! She really deserves this win, and it's a fantastic event here. Mexico City is one of my favourite shows and I'm always happy to come back here."

H&M Luna Van 't Ruytershof - Nicola Philippaerts - ©LGCT Mexico City (2)

But the2nd place during this LGCT Grand Prix also coloured blue and yellow and for that, Brazilian rider Luiz Felipe Cortizo Gonçalves De Azevedo Filho took care of it with 10-year-old grey mare Sierra du Piedroux Z, a daughter of Hunter's Scendix and Contefino from the Claude Noirot breeding farm and with whom Cortizo Gonçalves De Azevedo Filho also managed to finish 4th and 6th the days before. Cortizo Gonçalves De Azevedo Filho and Sierra du Piedroux Z reappeared in the jump-off as the very last combination and after a clear round they managed to stop the clock in 48.51 seconds.

Sierra du Piedroux Z - Luiz Felipe Cortizo Gonçalves De Azevedo Filho - ©LGCT Mexico City

Who also managed to qualify for the jump-off during this Grand Prix were Mexican rider Carlos Hank Guerreiro and his 10-year-old gelding H5 Porthos Maestro WH Z, a breeding product of Frank Fory and Christophe Wouters and combining the blood of Picasso Z with that of Ogano Sitte. Hank Guerreiro and H5 Porthos Maestro WH Z jumped their very first LGCT Grand Prix and finished it with a nice 4th place.

Global Champions League

On Saturday in Mexico City, it was looking forward to the team competition of the Global Champions League and in it, Belgian rider Thibeau Spits and 9-year-old black stallion Impress-K Van 't Kattenheye Z, a son of Indoktro-K Van Kattenheye and Vagabond de la Pomme from the breeding farm of Tony Raman and Mieke Strobbe and with whom Spits also shone at Miami Beach last week, were once again in the lead. Spits and Impress-K van 't Kattenheye Z confirmed all that good from last week and with a flawless round they helped their Prague Lions team to the lead after the first round. That interim leadership position ensured that the Prague Lions reappeared in the ring as the last team in the second and decisive round. Home rider Fernando Martinez Sommer (Lady van de Haarthoeve) again kept it clear for the Lions and so all eyes were on Spits and his black pearl. The duo had to deal with a jumping fault and 1 point for time along the way, but otherwise they kept it clear, allowing the Prague Lions to win this team competition with a comfortable lead of 7 penalty points.

Thibeau Spits: "I knew Fernando (Martinez Sommer) was really motivated here in front of his own crowd, so I just couldn't disappoint him. It's just amazing... Really, it's unbelievable."

Impress-K Van 't Kattenheye Z - Thibeau Spits - ©LGCT Mexico City

Furthermore, it was also a good competition for Belgian Champion Gilles Thomas and his 10-year-old black stallion Elfra van Beek Z, the son of El Salvador and Vagabond de la Pomme from the breeding farm of Guido Herreigers van 't Eirbissemhof. Thomas and Elfra van Beek Z were immediately good for 8th place in the 1.45m class on Thursday during the opening day, and on Friday they secured 5th place in the 1.55m main class. In doing so, they managed to keep all the pooles in the scoops during both the basic round and the jump-off.

CSI2* competition

The 3rd round of the Longines Global Champions Tour naturally received most of the attention over the past few days, but in addition to that, there was also jumping at Campo Marte at two-star level. In it, Colombian rider Ruben Arroyave managed to jump into the spotlight with the 12-year-old mare Valeska Z, a daughter of Van Gogh and Balou du Rouet bred in Germany by Nadine Resche. So Arroyave and Valeska Z got off to an excellent start on Thursday, winning the 1.45m opening class. With a clear2nd phase in 31.16 seconds, they were then more than 1.5 seconds ahead of the competition.

But Arroyave and Valeska Z also managed to jump to a top ranking on the other days. On Friday, for example, the duo finished2nd in the 1.45m class and yesterday morning in the CSI2* GP they secured 3rd place in the standings. The fault in the jump-off then kept them from victory.

Valeska Z - Ruben Arroyave - ©LGCT Mexico City

This is an automatically generated translation by DeepL.