Dominican Republic’s Yvonne Losos de Muñiz Posts 1st Victory on Foco Loco With Career High Grand Prix Score at Wellington CDI3*
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WELLINGTON, Florida, Feb. 7, 2018–Yvonne Losos de Muñiz rode Foco Loco W to the Olympic pair’s first victory and the career high Grand Prix score for the athlete from the Dominican Republic in the Adequan Global Dressage Festival CDI3* Wednesday.
The success came after Yvonne had put the horse up for sale because she thought the Belgian Warmblood gelding now 13 years old was too difficult to ride but with German trainer Ton de Ridder in Wellington as coach Foco Loco is producing top results.
Yvonne, who lives in Wellington in winter and Spain in summer, and Foco Loco scored 71.087 per cent, with all five judges awarding the duo better than 70 per cent.
Spain’s Juan Matute Guimon on Don Diego Ymas placed second on 69.087 per cent with Canada’s Megan Lane on San D’Or third on 67.978 per cent.
The CDI3* Grand Prix to qualify for the Freestyle was the first of four Grand Prix–another one to qualify for the Special and two CDI5* Grand Prix, the first time in the Americas an event has ever scheduled so many top sport classes. It is not known whether this many Grand Prix have been staged at an international event anywhere in the world.
Yvonne bought Foco Loco in 2014 and competed the horse in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
However, in competitions on both sides of the Atlantic the partnership was not working and after the Olympics she turned over the Foco Loco to Spain’s Borja Carrascosa who was more successful.
Rather than leave the horse in Spain to be competed by another rider, she asked her friend, Andreas Helgstrand of Denmark to sell the horse even though he “was everything I ever dreamed of. I was trying to be fair and throw in the towel.”
The 50-year-old rider wanted to get another horse.
After a month, she said, Andreas called her and said he did not understand why she was selling. He told her to go to his stable and ride the horse in front of him.
“I can’t get you a better one,” he told her. “I don’t understand what your problem is.”
Her husband told her to get on Foco Loco and ride through the Grand Prix.
“We popped through it and he said, ‘See’.”
“I said that’s it, I’m taking him back. I’m never selling him again. This is my horse.”
She took Foco Loco back to Spain and spent the summer working through the issues.
“It was trusting him,” she explained, “and trusting me. I knew he could do it and trusting that I could do it with him.”
Spanish rider Jose Mena came to help her with some basics and left her with some homework.
Foco Loco was spooky, but the stables where she was based had emus, geese and goats “so we went through it all. I didn’t ride for the perfect moment, I learned to ride through the bad moments.”
Foco Loco is one of two Big Tour horses Yvonne is competing, the other is Aquamarijn on which she is also having success.
She has qualified both horses for the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina in September, the first Dominican Republic rider to go to the world championships as she was the first to go to the Olympics.
The victory Wednesday was not her first as she had won on Liebling II in seeking to qualify for the 2012 Olympics, as well as other horses.
“I’ve never been more happy,” she said of Foco Loco. “My husband says I’m very stubborn but, thank God. Now I’m ecstatic over him.
“This to me is a real win. I won. I did it. It’s relief, actually that I was right
“This is better than making the Olympics.”
The CDI3* Prix St Georges was won by Jennifer Baumert and Handsome, a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding with a score of 71.118 per cent. The pair is so far unbeaten in three starts at this year’s Global circuit.
CDI3* Grand Prix CDI3*
Judges–E: Vincenzo Truppa-ITA H: Katrina Wuest-GER C: Susan Hoevenaars-AUS M: William Warren-USA B: Hans-Christian Matthiesen-DEN
- Yvonne Losos de Muñiz DOM/Foco Loco-W, her own 13yo Belgian warmblood gelding by Sierappel x Wendekreis: 70.652, 70.109, 73.261, 71.087, 70.326, 71.087%.
- Juan Matute Guimon ESP/Don Diego Ymas, Juan Matute’s 15yo Hanoverian gelding by Don Frederico x Wolkenstein II: 66.957, 71.957, 69.239, 69.891, 67.391, 69.087%.
- Megan Lane CAN/San D’Or, Deer Ridge Equestrian’s 12yo Westfalian gelding by Sandro Hit x Cocktail: 68.913, 69.783, 68.152, 66.739, 66.304, 67.978%.
- Beatrice Marienau USA/Stefano 8, her own 19yo KWPN gelding by Gribaldi x Actueel: 66.739, 70.109, 70, 65.761, 64.783, 67.478%.
- Megan Gardner USA/Zaffier, Karen Newsom’s 14yo KWPN mare by Special D x Renovo: 65.87, 68.043, 66.957, 67.065, 63.696, 66.326%.
- Karen Lipp USA/Whitney, Kathleen Oldford’s Hanoverian mare by White Star x Grand Cru: 66.739, 65.978, 67.935, 65.978, 64.348, 66.196%.
- Christer Egerstrom CRC/Bello Oriente, his own 14yo Oldenburg gelding by Bellissimo M x Donnerhall: 62.826, 66.848, 62.717, 64.239, 63.913, 64.109.
- Pamela Aide USA/Bon De Niro P, her own 12yo KWPN gelding by Son De Niro x Ferro: 64.783, 61.739, 65.435, 64.130, 62.391, 63.696.