LANGLEY, Canada – The national showjumping teams of Mexico, Canada and the United States will be competing on Sunday with a view to securing berths in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup final later this year in Barcelona.
The three North American countries are participating this weekend along with teams from Ireland and Israel in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup Canada event, which is offering $400,000 in prize money.
The Canadian competition, which is being held at the Thunderbird Show Park in Langley, around 50 kilometers (31 miles) southeast of Vancouver, is the final event of the Jumping Nations Cup’s 2019 North and Central America and Caribbean division.
That tournament also will give coaches of the participating countries one final chance to observe their riders ahead of the Pan American Games in Lima in July.
The Mexican team leads the Jumping Nations Cup divisional standings with 200 points following previous rounds in the US and Mexico, while the US team is second with 170 points and Canada is third with 140 points.
Only the top two teams will advance to the Barcelona final in October.
The winning team in Langley will accumulate 100 points, while the second and third placed squads will tally 90 points and 80 points, respectively.
Mexico and Canada must book a spot in the Barcelona final to have a chance of qualifying for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Six teams have already secured berths in Tokyo by virtue of their performances at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina, in September 2018: the US, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Australia.
Mexico comes into the event in Langley as the big favorite after having come out on top in February in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup USA event in Wellington, Florida.
Israel finished second in Wellington, while the US came in third and Canada took fifth.
Mexico also claimed first place at the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup Mexico event in May at the Coapexpan Equestrian Club in Xalapa.
The US finished second at that Mexico competition, while Canada came in third.
Mexico’s chef d’equipe, Stanny van Paesschen, has made some changes to the squad he used in the previous two Nations Cup events and selected Manuel Gonzalez Dufrane, Salvador Oñate, Francisco Pasquel, Nicolas Pizzaro and Juan Jose Zendejas Salgado as his riders.
The US team’s leader, Robert Ridland, has chosen three female and two male riders: Lucy Deslauriers, Eve Jobs, Jenni Martin McAllister, Richard Spooner and Andrew Welles.
Jobs, who is the daughter of Apple’s late co-founder, Steve Jobs, will be making her debut with the US national team on Sunday.
In the case of Canada, which needs a victory to secure a place in the final in Barcelona, chef d’equipe Mark Laskin has selected Tiffany Foster, Lisa Carlsen, Nicole Walker, Vanessa Mannix and Mario Deslauriers as his riders.
In a curious side note, two of the competitors at the Longines Jumping Nations Cup Canada event are a father-daughter duo (Mario Deslauriers and Lucy Deslauriers) who compete for two different countries (Canada and the US).
The other two national teams taking part in the event in Langley – Ireland and Israel – will not compete for divisional points.
Ireland returns to Canada as defending champion and with its star rider in the line-up, Conor Swail.
Israel, which made its debut at an international event in Wellington, Florida, in 2014, is competing in the Jumping Nations Cup Canada for the first time.