Carlos Guerrerio of Mexico City, Mexico, who is competing for the Mexico North team, piloted Santos, a 2004 Belgian Warmblood gelding, to top honors in the USHJA North American Junior & Young Rider Show Jumping Championship Junior Individual First Round Qualifier, with a score of 33.196 seconds in the fault converted format of the class.
Guerrerio’s teammate Antonio Abascal Secchi of Veracruz, Mexico, and Continio 4, earned second place with a total score of 34.719, while Lucy Matz of Coatesville, Pa., representing Zone 2, secured third place with a final score of 34.978 aboard Bailey VI.
“I discussed a plan with my trainer when we walked the course and we didn’t want to go all out, but with the format being faults converted, you have to go quickly because if you have one down you take yourself out of placing,” explained Guerrerio. “We wanted to stay with a good pace, not too fast, but also trace the tight turns and I rode all of the strides forward.”
This is the second year that Guerrerio has represented Mexico North at the NAJYRC, as he debuted last year at the competition in 2015 at The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. This season, Guerrerio has been focused on gaining experience with Santos, who is a relatively new ride, and hopes their experience in Europe earlier this season will translate into top finishes throughout the week.
“My trainer rode him at WEF and then I started riding him in June. We had him over in Europe earlier this season and we did some of the shows over there with good results,” he stated. “We just got back to the U.S. last week so I’m hoping that we do well in the remainder of competition.”
“I think this is a very important competition for all of the Junior riders in North America. Last year we took bronze on Mexico North and I’m hoping that we can improve on that this year. We’re hoping for a good result tomorrow in the team competition,” added Guerrerio.
Sophie Simpson and Why Not Victorious in Young Rider First Round Individual Qualifier
The USHJA North American Junior & Young Rider Show Jumping Championship began Wednesday, featuring the first class of the week in the International Ring at CHP, welcoming the Young Rider First Round Individual Qualifier.
Horse and rider combinations were able to test their skills for the first time in the main competition arena at the facility, as the class featured 23 entries. Sophie Simpson (18, Westlake, Calif.) and Why Not, capitalized on their first trip around the International Ring, capturing the win with a total score of 37.72, while loftier goals lie ahead of the duo in the team and individual portion of the competition.
Christine Firestone (21, Upperville, Va.) and Arwen finished in second place behind Simpson with a score of 38.15, while Mackenzie Drazan (21, Woodside, Calif.) and Waliba VDL rounded out the top three earning a score of 38.19.