Yvonne Losos de Muñiz of Dominican Republic to Compete Liebling II for Olympics

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Yvonne Losos de Muñiz of the Dominican Republic competing at her third Pan American Games, in Guadalajara, Mexico, last month. © 2011 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WELLINGTON, Florida, Nov. 27– Yvonne Losos de Muñiz of the Dominican Republic has become an owner of Liebling II, ridden by Carl Hester in Great Britain’s historic ascent to the top ranks of dressage, as her mount for the London Olympics next year.

Liebling was key in Great Britain’s historic team silver medal performances at both the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky and the 2009 European Championships before a home crowd.

Yvonne bought an ownership stake in Liebling with John Risley, the longtime sponsor of Cheryl Meisner of Canada. John bought the horse in March, 2010, for Cheryl to campaign for a place on the Canadian team at WEG. After disappointing performances at three shows in Europe, the horse went back to Carl’s barn.

In a similar ownership arrangement with Mario Vargas of Chile, she will also be competing at Grand Prix the 11-year-old KWPN gelding Tejas Verdes Tylov and the 10-year-old KWPN gelding Tejas Verdes Udo. Neither horse has competed internationally at Grand Prix.

Yvonne has gone from her Grand Prix horse getting injured before the Pan Ams, to three prospective Olympic mounts.

“Right after the Pan Ams,” she told dressage-news.com, “I flew to England to ride Liebling. Ten, 15 minutes warmup. I did the Grand Prix like it was nothing to him, and the horse hadn’t been doing the Grand Prix.”

Liebling, a Holsteiner gelding by Lorentin I, arrives in the United States later this week and she will compete at CDIs beginning in January in an effort to accumulate enough points to qualify for London.

Carl is scheduled to spend two weeks in Florida in January working with Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro who will compete in the World Dressage Masters CDI5* and helping Yvonne with Liebling. She will continue training with her longtime coach, Diederik Wigmans of The Netherlands.

Yvonne has been friends with Carl for many years and decided after competing at small tour the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, last month, to fly to England to ride Liebling.

The horse will be 15 years old when competed by Yvonne on the Florida winter circuit, but the passport has already been changed to the Dominican Republic as it has for the two Tejas Verdes mounts, a requirement for Olympic qualification.

She spends much of the year based in Wellington and competing in the United States, but with her husband, Eduardo, has worked on developing dressage and jumping in her homeland where the couple maintain a training facility, Las Marismas.

The 44-year-old rider, an individual medalist at the Pan American Games in Santo Domingo in 2003 and Rio de Janeiro in 2007, will seek to qualify as an individual for the 2012 Games.

Yvonne also won double individual gold and a team bronze medal at the 2002 Central American Games in El Salvador and added two individual silver medals at the Central American Games in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico in 2010.

She qualified for the WEG in Kentucky in 2010 with her Austrian Warmblood gelding Optimus Prime, but did not compete.

Liebling’s Grand Prix career began in 2007 when Anna Louise Ross Davies of Great Britain showed him first on Spain’s Sunshine Tour and the pair were selected for the British squad at the European Championships the same year.

Carl Hester on Liebling II at the 2009 European Championships, one of the highlights of their competition career. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Carl began showing Liebling in September, 2008, and less than a year later the pair were members of the team that won an historic silver medal at the European Championships at home in Windsor.

Liebling was sold to John Risley for Cheryl to ride, but she moved the horse to train with her longtime coach, Bert Ruttan, in The Netherlands.

Four months later, Liebling was back in Carl’s barn and the pair won the Grand Prix Special at the Hickstead CDI5*.

The combination did not make another international appearance until a year later when their second highest score for the British team again helped his country write equestrian history with a silver medal.