Xalapa, Mexico - May 10, 2017 - After a successful season in Wellington competing at the Winter Equestrian Festival with Peter Lutz, Gallagher/Meller Sport Horses' Robin de Ponthual took some time to relax before returning to the show ring in top form to participate in their first FEI Nations Cup™ competition at CSIO4* Coapexpan in Xalapa, Mexico.
Lutz and the 12-year-old Selle Français gelding, along with owner and trainer M. Michael Meller who was onsite throughout the event, kicked off their week in Mexico with a clear round in the Welcome Class on Thursday, which provided as a nice warm-up around the big grass field heading in to Friday's Nations Cup.
Alongside Quentin Judge, Adrienne Sternlicht, Alison Robitaille and Chef d'Équipe Robert Ridland, Lutz and Robin de Ponthual contributed to Team USA's silver medal finish in the FEI Nations Cup™ CSIO4* Coapexpan on Friday. The Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team finished on a total of 17 penalties, just one point behind the gold medal-winning Mexico team. Yet Friday's performances were enough to keep Team USA at the top of the North America, Central America and Caribbean standings heading into the division final at CSIO3* Langley May 31-June 4.
The pair's success continued on Sunday as they captured seventh place in the prestigious Grand Prix Veracruz CSI4*, while the rest of Team USA also collected top 10 finishes.
"Coapexpan was a great experience," said Lutz. "It was such a nice team to be a part of. Robert Ridland is such a pleasure to work with and was a great chef d'équipe. Michael and I had a great experience. Robin did very well and jumped a beautiful clear round on Sunday. He got better each time he showed. We were so happy with the way he closed out the show on Sunday in the grand prix."
Lutz first donned the pinque coat during the 2016 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Gothenburg, Sweden, where he and Robin de Ponthual finished among the top 20 in the world. After a successful winter season and Nations Cup debut, the pair is prepared to continue to represent the United States on the world stage.
Next, Lutz and Meller will head to the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows to continue to campaign the rest of Gallagher/Meller Sport Horses' up-and-coming North American show jumpers, Retiro, Cheri de Papignies and Sam 1091, before joining Robin de Ponthual at Spruce Meadows, where the pair won the $375,000 CP Grand Prix CSI5* in 2016, in June.
Katherine Gallagher and Meller founded Gallagher/Meller Sport Horses to support Lutz and his top horses in North America. For more information, please visit www.gallaghermeller.com.