Team Aztecs Came For The Experience, Left With A Win

Feb 17, 2018 - 2:55 PM

Ocala, Fla.—Feb. 17

When chef d’equipe Stanny Van Paesschen assembled Team Aztecs for the $5,000 FEI International Junior Team Competition, he had a simple goal—prepare these young riders to represent Mexico in senior international team competitions.

“I think we didn’t prepare too much, but this is a nice competition for the juniors,” said Van Paesschen. “It was maybe not so high, but it gives the pressure to ride for your home country and for the other riders. It’s not the same as the normal grand prix because it’s individual, and now they really need to focus and do well for the teammates. That’s why sometimes you see [mistakes happening] that don’t normally happen in the team competition. I think for the future it’s great to do this type of classes.”

Team Aztecs (from left) Luciana Gonzalez Guerra, chef d’equipe Stanny Van Paesschen, Mauricio Huesca Perez, Nicole Meyer Robredo and Carlos Rodolfo Molina Gordillo. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.

Two teams came to HITS Post Time Farm to compete in the inaugural team competition: Team Aztecs which included four riders who all hail from Mexico, and Team Stars And Stripes who had three American riders.

The competition was modeled after Nations Cup competition with two rounds over the same course and a drop score for teams with four riders. Stars And Stripes members were at a disadvantage with just three riders: Kyle Perkovich (Sovereign), Carolina Villanueva Suarez (Zabel D) and Faith Davis (Da Vinci).

With a double clear performance Carlos Rodolfo Molina Gordillo led Team Aztecs to victory with Trebon De La Nutria. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.

Both Perkovich and Davis turned in a 12-fault round a piece, while Suarez (who you can read about here) turned in a double-clear performance, and the team finished on a score of 28. Team Aztecs’ anchor rider Nicole Meyer Robredo didn’t need to jump Chanel in the second round, however Van Paesschen felt it was important she do so.

“Today to win is nice; we are happy with it, but the goal is not to win,” he said, “it’s to get better and to see what’s going to happen for the future for them. That’s why my fourth rider, she did not have to go in the ring, because they won anyway, but I said you should do it because you need to learn.”

Team Aztecs’ anchor rider Nicole Meyer Robredo and Chanel dropped just a single rail in the team competition. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.

Only Carlos Rodolfo Molina Gordillo riding Trebon De La Nutria to a pair of clear rounds.

“I think that it is a scopey horse,” Molina Gordillo said of his horse. “He has a lot of heart, so I love him.

“It’s incredible,” he continued. “My first Nations Cup and to win, and it’s a dream come true. My priority was to be clear and to be quiet at all the jumps.”

Luciana Gonzalez Guerra on Carlotta and  Mauricio Huesca Perez on Charisma R rounded out the Aztecs’ team.

Carlos Rodolfo Molina Gordillo described Trebon De La Nutria as a horse with a lot of heart. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.
Luciana Gonzalez Guerra and Charlotta turned in a clear effort in the second round for Team Aztecs. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.
Mauricio Huesca Perez and Charisma R rode for Team Aztecs. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.
Carolina Villanueva Suarez and Zabel D were the only pair on Team Stars And Stripes to have a double clear performance. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.
Faith Davis turned in a clear first-round effort with Da Vinci for Team Stars And Stripes. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.
Kyle Perkovich rode Sovereign for Team Stars And Stripes. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.

Want more HITS Ocala? Read all of our coverage here. Results from the junior team competition is here, and you can find full results from the FEI classes here.


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