The Competition Experience
The Main Arena and the FEI warm-up have the same sand footing. Notably the organizers brought in extra sand two weeks before the event. Evaluators indicated that the horses felt good on it, though it can get hard by the end of the day.
Course design, the arena setting and ceremony received high scores. One rider noted, “[Jumps] are well taken care of and beautiful; it looks like they paint them between classes!”
The warm-up arena is small, they limit it to six horses at a time. The FEI schooling area is a large grass football (soccer) field, with room to ride, reasonable grass footing, but not maintained.
Stabling is top notch, clean and well taken care of. Portable stalls were underground so a bit dark, but otherwise very nice and safe. Some bedding comes with the stall fee, but more would be appreciated. Security seemed to hit the mark: very strict, but friendly.
Tech services, start times, orders of go and videos of rounds are available for all the shows through one website and app, managed by FEM, the governing body. Eq Marketing worked with FEM to make this easy to use and informative. Entry fees are expensive relative to the prize money, but less pricey than other venues.
With a commendable series of twelve events in six locations ranked from CSI2* to CSI5* over fifteen weeks from late January to late April (some were canceled this season), spending some winter weeks or months show jumping south of the border is certainly an option. Beginning in picturesque Guadalajara and ending at the fabulous Club Hipico Coapexpan, with stops in Leon, Balvanera, San Miguel Allende and Mexico City, the footing rates well, the course design excellent, the facilities private with security, the towns full of history, the weather warm and the organizers welcoming.