Mexico City, Mexico – May 01, 2022 – The final day of the Longines Global Champions Tour of Mexico City CSI 5* & 2* was a scorcher in all senses of the word, paving the way for a penomenal 2022 season ahead.
With every day at the event providing world-class sport and spell-binding action, the stakes were raised once again for the big-money, concluding with the €100,000 Banorte Trophy CSI 5*, a 1.50m jump-off class. In a turbo-charged display of horsepower, it was Darragh Kenny (IRL) who landed a momentous second win of the day to claim the lion’s share of the prize purse with VDL Cartello (Cartani 4 x Lord).
First to go in the jump-off, Nina Mallevaey (FRA) on Kino (Lord Z x Chambertine 3) clinched second place just ahead of the third and final double clear of the day set by Christian Kukuk (GER) aboar Nice van’t Zorgvliet.
Speaking to GCTV for the second time on the same day, Darragh Kenny (IRL) smiled: “This show is fantastic, I absolutely loved it, the atmosphere is amazing, the crowd are just unbelievable and it’s been really enjoyable to be here, it’s a beatufiul show and then next I’ll be in Madrid. Well, it’s a better day than yesterday so I’m pretty happy about that. My horse jumped amazing today, I was really happy with him. He feels in good form again. I didn’t have a great day yesterday and today pretty much made up for it.”
Sunday’s track was set as a serious test with plenty of jumping efforts, but inviting fences and encouraging lines did little to deter theses talented horses and this elite fiel of 54 riders made the course look relatively comfortable, with 10 advancing to what turned out to be an electrifying jump-off.
The packed stands and VIP hospitality area sizzled in anticipation as the first rider entered the vast arena deep in the heart of this vibrant city.
Pathfinder, Nina Mallevaey (FRA) pivoted round round the tighest of turns and allowed the 14-year-old Kino to open up down the lines. They skipped through the airy double before soaring down over the final oxer for a masterful clear in 45.31 seconds. The French speed merchant had set a serious target.
The stadium erupted when two home heroes Federico Fernandez (MEX) and Romeo (Lando x Cheers Cassini) and Nicolas Pizarro (MEX) with Pia Contra (Conthargos x Chacco-Blue) entered the arena. Pushing to the limits, both hungrey for a home win but an unlucky rail each menat they had to settle for just outside the top 5.
Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) with the 10-year-old Moya vd Bisschop (Darco x Utrillo van de Heffinck) would have been one of the favourites to win this valubale prize but two down mid-course put them straight our of contention.
Straight off the back of a win in the morning’s speed class, Darragh Kenny (IRL) was determined to amke it a second win of the day. Catapulting out of the starting blocks, Darragh Kenny (IRL) and the very careful VDL Cartello spun round the corners and soared straight to the top spot in 42.84 seconds.
It wasn’t to be for Katrin Eckermann (GER) nor Jack Whitaker (GBR) in the jump-off as both had to make a full circle to the double, racking up the time penalties and leaving them in 9th and 10th place respectively. There was no chance of the pace slacing as Johnny Pals (NED) prepared to stake his claim with Zarkava Hero Z (Zandor Z x Calvaro Z), but an early upright fell for the Dutchman.
Christian Kukuk (GER) always loves a challenge and he powered out of the starting blocks on Nice van’t Zorgvliet (Emerald x Heartbreaker). Pushing and encouraging all the way, teh pair scooted down the final line just a fraction outside Nina’s time in 45.97 seconds.
Last to go, young Belgian talent, Zoe Conter (BEL) and Dawa de Greenbay Z (Diarado x Schilling ET) was hungry for her LGCT win but her hopes were crushed as the first part of the double came tumbling down, handing the win to Kenny.
That concludes a top-noth third lef of the 2022 Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) and Global Champions League (GCL) in Mexico City. The championship now hits Europe as the tour lands in the capital city of Madrid (May 13-15), where high drama looks to continue.
Final Results – €100,000 Trofeo Banorte CSI 5*
1) Darragh Kenny (IRL) & VDL Cartello – 0 / 0 – 42.84
2) Nina Mallevaey (FRA) & Kino – 0 / 0 – 45.31
3) Christian Kukuk (GER) & Nice van’t Zorgvliet – 0 / 0 – 45.97
Source: Press Release from LGCT – Longines Global Champions Tour
Photos: © LGCT / Stefano Grasso