Leon, MX, February 6, 2020 – First to go in an eight-horse jump-off, Jose Alberto Martinez Vazquez (MEX) held his lead through seven riders to record an impressive win in the Grand Prix Qualifier Presented by BMW.
Part of the Copa BanBajio Leon CSI4*-W, the event determined the top qualifying riders for the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Leon, part of the North American League, on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020.
It was a dominant victory, with Martinez Vazquez and the 14-year-old Holsteiner gelding No Limint crossing the finish timers of Anderson de Moura Lima’s (BRA) 1.50m track in 38.05 seconds—more than five seconds ahead of runners-up Alberto Sanchez Cozar (MEX) and Union de la Nutria. That duo, fresh off a history-making tie for victory in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Guadalajara, recorded a time of 43.56 seconds as the only other double-clear performers of the day. Juan Jose Zendejas Salgado (MEX) and Just Nice van het Indihof posted a swift time of 36.19 seconds, but a 4-fault score relegated them to third.
Zendejas Salgado was one of two combinations that followed Martinez Vazquez who were able to complete the course in a faster time, but neither could do so without incurring faults, which left Martinez Vazquez pleasantly surprised.
“In the jump-off, I was trying to go fast without risking everything, but also making it difficult for the [riders behind me] so that would try to catch my time,” Martinez Vazquez said. “That was my plan, and I think it worked out very well.”
“I think it was a really nice round,” he added. “[The course had] its difficulties, and for the class and the World Cup qualification, it was a very nice class for us to ride. A good number made it to the jump-off, and I think the designer did a good job.”
While Martinez Vazquez began riding No Limint when the horse was just seven, the duo has only recently reunited.
“He was a bit late developing, so I started him at the 1.25m and 1.30m levels, and I built him up to the Grand Prix level. Then my sister got him, and she just got pregnant, so I just got him back!” Martinez Vazquez explained. “I will ride him until she’s ready to come back.”
The Copa BanBajio Leon CSI 4*-W continues through Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020. The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Leon gets underway Saturday, Feb. 8 at 2:30 p.m. CT.
“It’s my first time here, and I think it’s amazing,“ Martinez Vazquez said. “My horse felt really good, the ground was good, and the show is really nice.”
About the North American League
The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League, now in its fifth year, consists of 14 venues in three countries - the United States, Mexico and Canada. Each venue hosts qualifiers to determine the North American riders who will compete at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final (April 15-19) in Las Vegas, Nevada. The NAL, which offers $2.4 million in prize money, is one of 16 leagues that form the global FEI Jumping World Cup™ series, which has been in existence since 1978.
Follow the action before, during and after each qualifier with #FEIWorldCup, #Longines and #JumpToGreatness.