Mexico emerged as the winners of the opening International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Jumping Nations Cup North, Central America and Caribbean League in Wellington.
The competition at Deeridge Farm was the first of the 12 event series, set to conclude with a final in Barcelona.
Mexico’s team of Fernando Martinez Sommer, Eugenio Garza Perez, Juan Jose Zendejas Salgado and Manuel Gonzalez Dufrane produced a strong display during the opening event in the United States.
They finished the first round with no faults, with three of their riders enjoying clean rounds on the course in Florida.
Sommer and Salgado received four and eight penalties respectively in the second round, although the latter’s was not included in the final score.
It followed Perez and Dufrane achieving a second clear round.
"I tried to keep calm and stay really focused," Dufrane, the final Mexican rider to take to the course, said.
"We have a psychologist to help us relax so I knew how to deal with it today."
The atmosphere was electric & the passion encapsulated the crowds for the very first @LonginesEq #FEINationsCup of 2019!— The FEI (@FEI_Global) February 17, 2019
With Team Mexico in a league of their own, a magnificent turn of events unfolded as we kickstarted a legendary season of sport. 🇲🇽
📸©FEI/ Shannon Brinkman pic.twitter.com/0l5zpu9axg
Their efforts helped Mexico celebrate victory with their team ending with only four faults.
Israel secured second place after they finished the competition with nine faults.
The US, the hosts, rounded off the top three on 12 faults.
Only Mexico, United States and Canada were eligible to earn qualifying points at the competition as part of the North, Central America and Caribbean League.
Mexico lead the early standings on 100 points, followed by the US on 80.
Canada earned a total of 60 points.
The North, Central America and Caribbean League is due to continue with a competition at Coapexpan in Mexico during May.
It will be followed by an event at Langley in Canada the same month.