Krefeld, Germany – Yvonne Losos de Muñiz, Individual Bronze Medalist at the 2003 Pan American Games in her hometown of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, has enjoyed a successful winter competing on Spain's famous 'Sunshine Tour' in Vejer de la Frontera.
Having first earned international acclaim with Inatana Las Marismas, her Bronze Medal partner that was retired in 2005 during a special ceremony in Wellington, Florida, Losos de Muñiz is looking forward to competing at the upcoming Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with Bernstein Las Marismas. In preparation for representing her country for the second consecutive time in Pan Am competition, Losos de Muñiz spent the months of February and March showing in the highly competitive Sunshine Tour against a truly international field of competitors representing such nations as Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Netherlands, Spain and Austria.
During the course of the competition, Losos de Muñiz finished runner-up in the Intermediaire I test on two occasions, earning scores of 69.50% and 70.60%, as well as several top five placings in the Prix St. Georges test, which often attracted more than 40 competitors. Advancing to the Intermediaire Freestyle where riders choreograph required technical movements to the music of their choice, Losos de Muñiz was rewarded with a score of 68.50% for fourth place, less than one percentage point behind the winner, who earned 69.45%. Her music, which features a mixture of classical pieces performed by the well-known Argentinean flamenco artist, Gustavo Montesano, accompanied by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, is a choice that is sure to be popular in Brazil.
Losos de Muñiz has spent the past three years training in Germany with Jean Bemelmans, renowned for leading the Spanish Team riders to individual and team medals at the 2002 World Equestrian Games and the 2004 Olympic Games. With Bemelmans' guidance, Losos de Muñiz has succeeded in developing Bernstein Las Marismas into a top contender for the Pan American Games. A striking, tall chestnut Hannoverian stallion by Banditentraum, Bernstein Las Marismas has been approved by both the Hannoverian and Danish Warmblood studbooks. As a six-year-old, he placed sixth in the FEI Young Horse World Breeding Championships in Verden, Germany. Losos de Muñiz and her husband, Eduardo Muñiz, who together operate the training stable Las Marismas, purchased the horse in 2004.
"Bernstein's development has exceeded our expectations," enthused Losos de Muñiz. "He is ready to compete at the Grand Prix level but, after his solid small tour performance in Spain, we have decided to wait and take him to the Pan Am Games instead. Both Jean and I believe this is a top horse, and it’s very rewarding to know that the judges and the public seem to agree."
As for her chances of defending her individual medal, Losos de Muñiz says, "We will do our best. There are some extremely talented combinations, especially from countries such as the United States and Canada, so anyone that wants to be in the medals will have to do an outstanding job. The positive side is that the Pan Ams will offer outstanding competition, and I believe this is what the sport and the public deserve."
In addition to her success with her Pan Am Games mount, Losos de Muñiz enjoyed impressive results with two other horses. Dondolo Las Marismas, a seven-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding by the well-known Blue Hors sire, Don Schufro, made his successful debut in the Intermediaire I division while Royal Affair, an elegant bay Oldenburg gelding by Royal Diamond, impressed the judges time and time again in the FEI Five-Year-Old Young Horse division. Always in the top three, Royal Affair won the Five-Year-Old Final during the second week of competition after earning scores of 8.8 for his trot, 9 for his canter and 9 for general impression for an overall score of 85.20%.
"I have been working very hard for the past couple of years with Jean in Germany," noted Losos de Muñiz. "He has taught me to ride in a very precise, elegant way, and I believe it shows when we go to the ring. We have assembled a very nice group of young horses, and now the hard work and sacrifice is paying off with strong results."
In the lead-up to the Pan American Games, Losos de Muñiz will continue training in Germany and participate in a select number of international CDI dressage events in Europe before making her way to Rio de Janeiro.
For more information on Yvonne Losos de Muñiz, please visit www.yvonnelososdressage.com.