The Numbers Behind the Rise of Mexico
Nicolas Pizarro and Pia Contra. Photo by FEI/Anwar Esquivel
Team Mexico is no longer an underdog.
In 2018, Mexico pulled the upset with a breakout moment in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ at Dublin—the first time Mexico had sent a team to the event in 37 years.
A year later, Mexico—with a squad comprised of four male athletes under the age of 30—was best in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ USA before jumping to the silver medal at the Pan American Games (PER).
And this year, Mexico led the North and Central America and Caribbean division of the Nations Cup series, keeping the United States out of Nations Cup Finals for the first time ever. In Barcelona, Mexico won the Challenge Cup.
This week in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico will host its third of five five-star events this year—more than double the amount the country has ever hosted in a calendar year.
What has the rise of Mexico looked like, by the numbers? We pulled the data.
In 2010, Mexico hosted just four international competitions, and in 2013, there was just one single FEI event. The year 2022 will feature 26 FEI competitions in Mexico, and the five-star events are spread through four different venues.
Passion is what fuels sport in this country, and while that can't entirely be quantified, the results of Mexico's undeniable support of equestrian sport can. The turning point is obvious. From 2015 to 2016, the number of FEI events in the country nearly doubled; 2016 was also the first year Mexico hosted a five-star event, with the implementation of the LGCT of Mexico City. Team Mexico's Nations Cup victory in Dublin came just two years later.
Four Mexican riders are ranked within the World's top 100 riders. Only one is ranked within the top 50, and that is Nicolas Pizarro (World No. 44), who not only rides at the top level, but also boasts one of the country's largest training operations. Remarkably, Pizarro had never jumped an indoor event in his career until last December, when he and top mount Pia Contra jumped double-clear for fifth in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Fort Worth (USA), qualifying Pizarro for World Cup Finals in Leipzig (GER).
During a European tour this summer, Pizarro recorded four top 5 finishes in Grand Prix events and was on an absolute tear. In 20 starts between July 29 and August 28, he averaged just 2.6 faults and jumped 11 clear rounds. He jumped double-clear in all four Grand Prix events that he jumped in that span.
Eugenio Garza Perez and Manuel Gonzalez Dufrane (World No. 92), both under 30, have already jumped a combined 7 senior championships. That includes 3 medals, by the way. Gonzalez Dufrane's averages at the top level of the sport explain why he was named the team anchor in his Nations Cup debut in 2018. He is remarkably calm in the face of pressure, with the best average finish position at the CSI5* level of this group, albeit with fewer starts at the level than his teammates.
Patricio Pasquel holds seniority among this group and has not only performed for his country, but he has also greatly supported the sport in Mexico, hosting World Cup qualifying events in Valle de Bravo, Guadalajara, Leon and Puebla. Still yet, Pasquel's Babel, part of that Nations Cup team at Dublin 2018, is still jumping at the top of his game and represented Mexico yet again in Herning (DEN) at the World Championships.
Expect the home nation to come out in full force as it celebrates hosting more five-star events than it ever has in its history. Make your selections (Haga tus selecciones) at prixview.com/fantasy.