Wellington’s World Cup Heats Up As Riders from 3 Continents Seek Start in Championship Final
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WELLINGTON, Florida, Feb. 6, 2022–Riders from three continents are scheduled to compete at the Global Dressage Festival World Cup event this week, seeking a start in what appears increasingly likely to be the first championship Final in three years as Europe eases coronavirus restrictions.
The World Cup Short Grand Prix Thursday has attracted 13 rider and horse combinations representing four countries–Canada, Dominican Republic, Spain and the United States. Another 25 pairs are entered in two CDI4* Grand Prix, one for the Freestyle that will be staged like the World Cup musical rides in the popular Friday Night Stars, and the other for the Grand Prix Special. After this week’s qualifier only one more remains in North America, the week of Mar. 2-6 also on Wellington’s Global circuit.
The Grand Prix are also important for riders seeking scores to count for a possible place on their nations’ teams at the world championships in Herning, Denmark in September.
Juan Matute Guimon is returning from Spain to the show grounds of his youth in Wellington hoping to earn enough points with his 2018 World Games team mount Quantico to qualify for one of the nine places reserved for Western Europe among the total of 18 for the Final. The 24-year-old Juan is currently ranked 10th in Western Europe, and a good finish in Wellington would significantly enhance his chances for his first Final that is scheduled for Leipzig, Germany April 6-10. His sister, Paula, a year older and still based in Wellington, is also in the lineup on her recently successful partner, Delagronge.
Yvonne Losos de Muñiz of the Dominican Republic is on the start list with Aquamarijn, the horse on which she competed at one of her two Olympics and one of her two World Cup Finals.
Ashley Holzer of Wellington, a four-time Olympian for Canada, will ride Havanna on which she has already clinched one of the two places reserved for North America. If the World Cup Final does go ahead and she opts to compete, it will be her first international championship under the Stars & Stripes.
The second spot for North America is still undecided, with fellow American Codi Harrison on Katholt’s Bossco standing second. Other prospects in the World Cup competition include Californians Jan Ebeling on Status Royal and Anna Buffini on FRH Davinia la Douce with Canada’s Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu on All In competing for the first time since the Nations Cup in Aachen, Germany last September following their Tokyo Olympics.
Katie Duerrhammer of Greenwood Village takes Quartett into the CDI4* Grand Prix for the Special two weeks after posting their first Big Tour victory.
Sarah Tubman is scheduled to compete First Apple at CDI, the Grand Prix for the Special, the first international show in almost a year for the 2019 Pan American Games individual gold medal partnership.