In one of the most exciting and dynamic cities in the world the penultimate day was a spectacular celebration of equestrian sport and culture, with top-level competition, entertainment, and lifestyle experiences. The stakes were raised once again for the big-money competition as today concluded with a dramatic €153,000 Trofeo Banorte 1.55m jump-off class.
It was Christian Kukuk and Mumbi who continued his flying form after contributing to Riesenbeck International powered by Kingsland’s win in the GCL team series yesterday, taking the win yet again in the stunning grass arena at the Campo Marte. Just a second behind Yuri Mansur and Miss Blue Mystic Rose had to settle for second place while Laura Kraut and her 9 year old Bisquetta finished off the podium.
A smiling Christian Kukuk told GCTV: "We won the team class yesterday and today this individual class so the weekend couldn’t be better at the moment. I took a big risk to the double in the jump-off and I was really lucky I must say as I turned inside the Longines finishing timer but Mumbi tried his heart out for me. It was a fast jump-off! We are in the form of our life at the moment."
In front of thousands of visitors today was a perfect prelude to the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Mexico City tomorrow. From live music and delicious cuisine to exclusive shopping experiences and family-friendly activities, the event is a unique and exciting way to experience the thrill of show jumping.
Saturday’s track was set as a serious test with plenty of jumping efforts, but inviting fences and encouraging lines did little to deter these talented horses and this elite field of 31 riders made the course look relatively comfortable with 10 making it through to an electric jump-off.
The packed stands and VIP hospitality area sizzled in anticipation as the first rider entered for the jump-off in the vast arena deep in the heart of this vibrant city.
Pathfinder for the jump off, Yuri Mansur aboard Miss Blue Mystic Rose threw caution to the wind showing determination to the last, firmly putting their claim in for top podium position and hinting at what was to follow.
Next saw the first of three American riders qualified for the jump off - Isabella Rusekoff and Jumpy van de Hermitage. A neat clear again proved the course extremely jumpable much to the pleasure of the packed crowd. Entering the arena as third to go, Eduardo Pereira De Menezez and H5 Elvaro were the first of three four fault rounds with a soft rail in part one of an imposing double combination in front of the packed VIP.
Enter: Christian Kukuk and Mumbai. Fresh off their win in yesterday’s GCL, it was clear the duo were in it to win it from the start. Taking almost a second off Mansur’s time, the stadium erupted as the time of 37.23 showed on the big screens.
Leading rider Laura Kraut aboard the unstoppable Bisquetta followed suit with an impressive clear, but a couple of seconds down off the current leaders resulted in their final placing of third place. As Denis Lynch and Vistogrand entered the arena, the question on everyone’s lips was could he replicate his day one victory? Chasing the win from fence one, a couple of steady lines came up for the duo, and with the second last fence falling, ultimately putting them firmly out of the places.
Next saw Abdel Said and Goldenstar, with an unfortunate fall for both horse and rider resulting in elimination, the crowd cheered as both left the arena unharmed and a thumbs up from Abdel.
Lillie Keenan and Fasther entered as eighth to go, a tidy clear and some wider turns resulted in the pair ultimately finishing in just off the podium in fourth. Franciso Jose Mesquita Musa and Alea Marathon were the third of the four fault rounds, leaving options open for the master of faster and last to go, Maikel van der Vleuten.
Maikel aboard Dywis HH opted for a steady clear in the fading light, securing fifth place, and ultimately confirming the podium positions for Kukuk, Mansur and Kraut.