Azcarraga Saves Best for Last in Copa Audi Scappino Longines FEI World Cup™ Qualifier
By Catie Staszak for EqSol
Last to go in a four-horse jump-off, Gonzalo Azcarraga (MEX) rode the 10-year-old KWPN gelding Fabio to the only double-clear performance to win the $1,070,000 MXN Copa Audi Scappino Longines FEI World Cup™ Qualifier CSI4*-W Thursday evening at the Guadalajara Country Club (MEX).
The duo crossed the timers of Guilherme Jorge’s (BRA) shortened course in 49.63 seconds. The fastest with 4 faults, Paola Amilibia Puig (MEX) and Chac Balou N finished second on a time of 42.63 seconds. Patricio Pasquel (MEX) and Pomerol finished third with 8 faults in 43.39 seconds.
The event, part of the 2020 Triple Copa Scappino CSI4*-W, determined the qualifying positions for Saturday’s $2,000,000 MXN Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Guadalajara CSI4*-W, the penultimate West Coast qualifier of the North American League, as riders look to punch their tickets to the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Las Vegas (USA).
A competitive group of 30 contested Jorge’s 1.50m track, with just four producing clear rounds to advance to the jump-off. Of the group, Azcarraga’s track was undoubtedly the most eventful. When his mount let out some exuberance on course, he lost his stirrup and rode the final line without it.
“He started kicking and pulling to [the second fence], and then we got a little bit of a rhythm, and he started jumping better,” Azcarraga explained. “The triple [combination] was really nice. Before the last line, I lost my stirrup at the liverpool. I was just feeling [my way]. My legs were almost asleep after the last line!”
Heading into the jump-off, the twenty-nine year old rider’s task was potentially simpler. No one—Amilibia, Pasquel, or Alberto Sanchez-Cozar (MEX) could produce a second clear. With the advantageous position of returning last, Azcarraga knew he could produce a steady clear and win. Fully aware of his mount’s jumping prowess, however, Azcarraga’s focus was not on the jumps, but the space between them.
“I actually was only concentrating on the turns,” he said. “[Fabio] gets kind of funny on the turns—he can get a little bit mad. The last turn before the double was a bit tough and a little bit unorganized, but we got through it! It feels really nice [to come away with a win].”
The son of four-time Olympian Jaime Azcarraga, who represented Mexico at the 1984 (USA), 1988 (KOR), 1992 (ESP) and 2012 (GBR) Games, Gonzalo is an amateur rider who works for his family’s Radio Formula company. He truly relishes every moment in the saddle.
“We ride early in the morning and then work for a living,” Gonzalo said of his family, which also includes his brother Andres, another successful rider. “We enjoy it, very much so. Every time we get out of the office, we get right on top of a horse!”
He believes his horse has all the ability to help him earn opportunities similar to what his father has had.
“I got him about two years ago, and we’ve formed a pretty nice partnership,” Gonzalo explained. “He has a little bit of character, but I think we are starting to get along better, and we are starting to jump a little bit bigger. It’s challenging, but I really love him. He’s a special horse. He tries his best all the time. I’m really happy with how he’s progressed.”
The Triple Copa Scappino CSI 4*-W continues though Sunday, Jan. 26th, 2020. The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Guadalajara gets underway Saturday, January 25th, 2020, at 2:30 p.m. CT.
Name: Triple Copa Scappino Concurso International, CSI4*-W
Featuring: LONGINES FEI Jumping World Cup™ – North American League – Guadalajara
When: January 22 – 26, 2020
Where: Guadalajara Country Club
Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
FEI Schedule, Courses Order of Go, Results: Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Guadalajara
Hashtags: #eqmkt – #triplecopascappino2020 – #guadalajaracountryclub
FEI: #FEIWorldCup – #Longines – #JumpToGreatness
About Eq Marketing
As the organizers of the National Championship and co-organizers of the Longines Global Champions Tour of Mexico City, Eq Marketing (EQM)—the OC—is a Mexican company with almost two decades of experience hosting equestrian events.
Francisco Pasquel, the director of EQM, also actively competes. He seeks to bring top sport to Mexico, as well as create a place for Mexican riders to gain experience in FEI-ranked competitions, bring along young horses and develop young riders in their own country.
About the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League
The North American League is one among sixteen taking part in the highly successful and global FEI Jumping World Cup™ series, which has been in existence since 1978.
A total of 14 athletes from the North American League will qualify for the prestigious Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final: the top seven athletes from the East Coast, top three from West Coast US and the two best-placed athletes from Canada and Mexico.
More information can be found at feiworldcup.org.
Join and follow the conversation on social media with the hashtags #FEIWorldCup, #Longines, and #JumpToGreatness
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