With just three horses remaining in the first round of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Puebla (MEX), it appeared as if there might be a jump-off of 4-fault performers.
Through 17 combinations, there was yet to be a clear effort over Marina Azevedo's (BRA) 1.60m track. The group included to top ranked rider from Mexico, Nicolas Pizarro (MEX); defending champions Manuel Gonzales Dufrane (MEX) and Hortensia van de Leeuwerk; and the current national champions of Mexico, Federico Fernandez (MEX) and Davidoff.
Then Jose Saavedra Garcia (MEX) entered the arena for his World Cup debut and kept all of the jumps up. No one else could replicate the feat, giving the 24-year-old and his 13-year-old stallion Maximus took a memorable victory.
"From the moment I jumped the first fence, I knew my horse was going to have a great round, so I just had fun."
Jose Saavedra Garcia (MEX)
Gonzales Dufrane finished second (4/76.65), with Saavedra Garcia's coach, Arturo Parada Vallejo (MEX) and Bacot third (4/77.50).
"I've been riding [Maximus] for about a year, and I'm really excited to win my first World Cup," Saavedra Garcia said. "There were points where things didn't come up just right [on course], but my horse helped me out, and he was incredible."
Saavedra Garcia has hopes to earn a place on Mexico's team for the Central American and Caribbean Games in Santo Domingo (DOM) this summer.
"Since I rode my first round with this horse, I knew we could do something amazing," he said.
Daniel Coyle (IRL) maintains the lead in the North American League standings with 66 points. Conor Swail (IRL) remains second (56 points), and Daniel Bluman (ISR) is third (ISR). The 2022-2023 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League concludes at Ocala (USA) on 19 March 2023.
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