A rookie rider has beaten the world’s best to win the FEI World Cup Jumping qualifier in Guadalajara, Mexico in only his second four-star grand prix.
Despite has lack of top-level experience, Luis Alejandro Plascencia O was confident his 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion Da Vinci could take him to victory.
“There was only one clear round, and I knew my horse was naturally faster, so I was confident I could catch [the leader] without going crazy,” he said.
The 24-year-old was the penultimate competitor in a seven-horse jump-off, and he kept a cool head to jump clear in a time of 40.66sec and take the title in his debut World Cup.
It was a great afternoon for the home crowd, with Mexican riders taking the top three spots. Gustavo Ramos and his long-time partner Izzy Miaki were the only other combination to produce a double clear to take the runner-up position (42.50sec), while defending champions Francisco Pasquel and Naranjo finished third on the fastest four faults.
France’s Eric Navet was fourth with Catypso ahead of USA’s Sarah Scheiring and Dontez in fifth place.
Sarah has now moved from 11th to fifth place in the east coast sub league standings of the North American League. The top seven US riders from the east coast will qualify for the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final in Paris in April.
There are two stops remaining on the 2017-2018 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping North American League calendar. The next competition is in Ocala, on Sunday 14 March 2018. The west coast sub league concludes in Thermal, California on Saturday 10 February.