A big number or Mexican riders and horses arrived in Spruce Meadows for the summer tournaments. This is nothing new as every year there is a large number of Mexican competitors in this event. However, this time Patricio Pasquel who is ranked 112th in the Longines Rankings managed to win the Grand Prix at the end of The National CSI5* with his own bred horse Babel (Billie du Lys by Hihgflyer). The pair has been very successful starting as 5, 6 and 7 year old horse champion in Mexico, then winning in México, US and Canada and three Nations Cup participations with first place in two.
The pair are not strangers to Spruce Meadows after they won the West Jet Cup 1.45m last year in the Meadows in the Green, but this is Pasquel’s first win in the main international ring.
Four went to the jump-off including Keean White and Vanessa Mannix from Canada and close friend of Pasquel, Spanish rider Paola Amilibia who is married to Mexican Federico Fernández.
“I didn’t see the others go in the jump off but I heard that the first few had a rail and that Keean was clear. Everyone tries to come up and tell you what to do but I said, ‘No, I’m just going to do my thing’ because I knew the horse is so fast on the ground. My plan was to ride a nice course and leave the jumps up — God will tell and he did tell today that Babel wanted to win,” exclaimed an emotional Pasquel.
The joy of the Mexican contingent continued the next day when Luis Plascencia, a rider from Leon, Guanajuato, was second in the Derby behind three-time winner, Richard Spooner and Cristallo from the US. It was not the first time Luis rode in the Derby, but it was riding his mare Salamera de la Nutria, also bred in Mexico, in Monterrey (Diamant of Semilly X Voltaire). He was so happy to be second behind Spooner and not have to jump off with the other three who finished with 8 faults: Chris Surbey, Rich Fellers and Daniel Coyle.
Pasquel, Surbey, Keenand and Mannix have seen each other frequently as they were part of their teams for the Nations Cup in Coapexpan and Langley in the previous months.
Mexican riders also succeeded in Tryon. Junior rider Daniel Rihan finished as Junior Medium Champion with his horse Desperado and is on his way to the NAJYR in New York later this summer. The first day he won with his other horse Coleur. Daniel will be joined by the rest of the two junior teams competing at Saugerties for the NAJYR who stayed behind as the FEI Children’s took place in Guadalajara this weekend, where Mijael Ganon won the Gold Tour. Joining Rihan will be Karime Perez from Guadalajara, Luciana González and Nicole Meyer from Mexico City in the Mexico North Team, and Eduardo Riba and Mauricio Huesca from Mexico City together with Martina Franco from Valle de Bravo and Yago Alvarez del Castillo from Guadalajara for the Mexico South Team. Two more riders will participate as alternates or individuals: Claudette Villaisa and Jose Maria Quintana. Lamentably there will be no Young Riders participation from Mexico as all the ones in this category are competing in different parts of the world.