Amazing experience for the Aussies at the Global Amateur Tour in Mexico
Source: Mia Craig and Equestrian Australia
The Global Amateur Tour (GAT) was held in Mexico recently, with Daniel Bourne, Felicity Coucill, Mia Craig, Morgan Daniel and Mykaela Briggs from Australia joining riders from 14 other countries to compete over a number of events.
It certainly sounds like an adventure and Mia Craig tells us how she and the rest of our Aussie representatives enjoyed Mexico and riding at GAT.
“The grounds of Balvanera were absolutely magnificent when we arrived the day before the competition started — everyone was excited for the days ahead. The Copa Lopetzki Master Low (100cm) was the first event with myself and Felicity representing. The round was a Super 2 Phase. My horse pulled a rail in the first round but finished off beautifully to finish 10th. Felicity went clear in the first part and had an unfortunate stop in the speed section but rode well enough to finish 6th.”
“Later in the day was the Global Amateur Tour (115cm). This event had Daniel, Morgan and Mykaela representing us. The class was not a good one for them as all horses warmed up beautifully but then the wide open arena, filled jumps and excited crowds seemed to take their toll on the horses and all three were unable to complete their rounds. Discussions were then held between the team and officials for finding replacement horses for them for the next day.”
“Day Two was the teams event with all visiting riders placed in a team with three Mexican riders for an accruing of points at the end of the class. Myself and Felicity both had 4 faults in our first rounds and it came down to the last rider as to whose team would win. Felicity came 8th and her team came 1st and my team was 2nd and I finished 6th individually. “It was very exciting and they played our National Anthem for Felicity which was wonderful.“
“The 115cm riders had had a quick ride of their new mounts in the morning and were as ready as they could be for the day. All three went round with a few rails between them.There was much relief and cheering from the supporters.”
“Day Three saw myself and Felicity riding in the Final of the Masters. My horse had beautiful clear round in the first and pulled a rail in the jump-off and finished 8th. Felicity had a stop in her round and still went fast enough to finish 12th.”
“Sunday, Day Four, pulled out another interesting turn of events, with Daniel’s horse not passing the vet check and he was given yet another horse. This time he had to get to know it in the warm-up arena!”
“We started early in the class with Morgan riding beautifully, but unfortunately took two rails. She was not very well on the day, so it was a super effort. Daniel rode his new horse next and also pulled two rails, but it was a lovely calm ride to watch and an amazing thing to do, three very different horses in three days. Mykaela was the last rider out for Australia. A beautiful ride, but unfortunately they also had rails, so we had no-one go through to the final.”
There were a few other interesting stories Mia tells us from the trip.
“Mexican traffic was a nightmare and it took us two and a half hours to just get out of the city with our trusty bus driver Manuel. Manuel gave us some interesting times during our bus rides… including doing an hour round trip from the Comfort Inn to the Comfort Inn as he didn’t realise we couldn’t fit through a tunnel and had to turn back, (this was after he found himself in a lane that had a height barrier we couldn’t go under and had to back 50m down a busy street to change lanes); taking a U-Turn on a busy freeway with Christian and Pepe having to stop massive trucks while doing a 10 point turn to get going in the other direction; getting lost on the way to Bernal and stopping to ‘check a tyre’ but really checked his GPS to realise we had gone the wrong way! But it all added to the experience of the trip.”
“Among other highlights, we enjoyed a trip to the amazing Piramide del Sol (Pyramid of the Sun), which most of us managed to climb and take in the stunning views from. We then had dinner in a restaurant called Le Gruta which was in a cave and was absolutely magnificent”
“Daniel, Morgan and Mykaela did their country proud with their dignity and acceptance of a difficult situation. They should be commended on the way they handled changing horses, owners, trainer and grooms in such a professional manner.”
“Mexico is a beautiful country and the short time we had to see it was certainly worth it. The food was beautiful, the people friendly and the weather was so kind to us”.
The Australian team were proudly supported by Saddleworld and Pryde’s Easifeeds, as well as their own personal sponsors.