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Eduardo Tame
February 7, 2016
Avándaro, last horse show
By Eduardo Tame
Sunday, February 7, 2016 :: Posted 07:45:07 PM EST

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© : Manuel Alvarez
Manuel Alvarez

The eventing at the Olympic Games in Mexico 1968 were held in this beautiful place less of 100 miles from Mexico City.  Since then every year horse shows has been held including trials for Olympic and Panamerican Games, as well as international competitions, some were legendary.  Well, with the CSI-W held last February, this place will not be available for horseshows anymore.  The good news is that EqM is getting ready a new site right there in Valle de Bravo (where Avándaro is located, in the city of Valle de Bravo) which will be ready for the next show in November.

© : Mexico 1968
Mexico 1968. Eventing Olympic Games. Avándaro.

For now two weeks wrapped the venue.  The first one was included a CSI-W in the North American League, a World Cup qualifier with $100,000 dlls,  with participation of at least 14 countries represented, nine of them in the jump off in the course set by Brazilian Guillherme Jorge.  The winner was the rider from Uruguay Juan Manuel Luzardo who rode Stan. 

© : Flaco Luzardo Flaco Luzardo

Juan M. Luzardo URU won the WC Qualifier

Luzardo has been living in Guadalajara for some time now, and also participated at the Pan-American Games in Toronto representing Uruguay, although he was born in Argentina.  He was the best and faster of the 10 in the jump off.  Early in the week in the 1.50m that qualified for the GP, German rider Christian Heineking was the winner, only three in the jump off that early in the week, with Gonzalo Azcárraga in second (beginning a dream come true show for Gonzalo) and veteran Mexican Olympic rider Federico Fernández in third.   “Being so early on the year, and although the North American League is finishing, I decided to build a 1.60m course but friendly, hoping to have six or seven riders in the jump off” declare who will be also de designer at Rio.

Luzardo was not expecting to win the class, and as a matter of fact did not wait to see the other riders go.  He was fast, stopping the clock at 41.85 seconds, some fractions faster than the 42.47 imposed by US rider Audrey Coulter minutes before, and when he dismounted instead of watching the eight remaining riders, went to the paddock where at the end of the class his partner Mauricio Guerra joined him to congratulate for the triumph, which came really as a surprise to him.

© : Simon Nizri
Simon Nizri

After Luzardo Simon Nizri, who was born in Mexico but lives in California and represents Israel, rode E Muze Yek to finish in 42.52 and clinch the third place.  From Spain also participated Paola Amilibia, Federico Fernández wife, who finished in 52.19 with a clear round, but a little faster round from Daniel Pedraza Jr. with Arc do Triumph displaced her in the qualification.  Then veteran Mexican Olympic rider Nicolás Pizarro did not have a good day with Temascaltepec (a horse named after a neighboring city in Valle de Bravo) having down the first fence in the jump off and then having a rotating fall in the next oxer, so finishing in tenth position.  Another Olympic veteran, Antonio Chedraui, finished with four faults aboard La Bamba, and Argentinian Fabián Sejanes, also with no faults, in a time of 46.87.   The best Mexican rider was Alfredo Ramírez who rode Red Baron finishing in 49.16 seconds for fifth place.  Four of the ten riders in the jump off were from the hosting nation.

© : Nikolaj Hein
Nikolaj Hein

Danish rider Nikolaj Hein also finished clear, and ended the next day winning the Clásico, at 1.40m.  Many international riders did not qualify to the jump off, like Harrie Smolders (NED) who in one of the 20 best riders in the FEI rankings, Karl Cook, Will Smpson, the winner early in the week from Germany Christian Heineking, Mexican Olympic veteran Jaime Azcárraga, or the Guadalajara young rider who had a tremendous season last year Juan Pablo Gaspar, and who was the winner of the FEI Children competition in this same place two years ago.

 © : Gonzalo AzcarragaGonzalo Azcarraga

On the second week Jaime Azcárraga had a fall in the first day schooling a new horse, and with a fracture in his leg did not participate in the rest of the week (he is scheduled to be one of only four Mexican riders competing in the upcoming GCT in Mexico City), but his son Gonzalo had one of the best shows in his career.  Also another Mexican rider, Antonio Maurer, who won a class early in the first week, had a fall and a collar bone lesion. The young Azcárraga who won in 2014 the gold medal at the Central American Games in Veracruz finished winning the two main classes: Clásico with Quite Easy and the Grand Prix aboard Zalerno.  In second place at the Grand Prix on the second week placed Juan Pablo Gaspar.

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