Julio Mendoza Loor. Photo © SusanJStickle.com.
Ecuador’s Julio Mendoza Loor capped an epic week of personal bests to close out the Stillpoint Farm CDIO3* Nations Cup™ during Week 7 of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL. Mendoza Loor claimed the gold medal in the CDIO3* Grand Prix Freestyle with an almost 80% test on his own 12-year-old gelding, Jewel’s Goldstrike. The son of Bretton Woods x Watermill Scandic scored three nines for his halts on the way to 79.325%, with three of the five judges awarding the pair over 80%.
The 26-year-old Anna-Cristina Abbelen (GER) continued her sparkling form at her first ever Wellington show season. She recorded another career high score, of 77.16%, on her own and Silke Abbelen-Mooren’s 16-year-old Samarant gelding Sam Donnerhall to finish in silver. Caroline Darcourt (SWE) snuck into third with Lord Django, just 0.28 percentage points ahead of compatriot Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén (Devanto).
Mendoza Loor, who is 43, also won the CDIO3* Grand Prix Special on a new personal best earlier in the week. The pair had tremendous small tour success at the Bolivarian Games in 2022 — winning all three tests and leading Ecuador to team gold — but this is only the horse’s fourth big tour CDI.
He said of his AGDF 7 freestyle, “It was the feeling of a lifetime; the ride was unbelievable. He is a horse who wants to perform; he wants to be there and to always try harder. He is willing to do everything and more than what I’m asking. I’m so proud of him for how young he is — he’s an unbelievable horse. Last year was the first time I competed him here in Wellington, and he won the CDI, and this time he really showed me what he can do and made me so proud.”
He’s a hot tamale to ride
The gold and silver medalists — both from the USA — in the Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup™ Intermediate I Freestyle laid down new personal bests. The 20-year-old Christian Simonson, who is based in Wellington and trains with Adrienne Lyle, took top honors riding Son of a Lady to a stonking 78.445%, with a high score from judge at H Christof Umbach of 80.775%.
Simonson rode to a freestyle composed for another of his small tour horses, Zeaball Diawind. He has had Son of a Lady for a year after buying him from Severo Jurado Lopez and competed him very successfully in Young Riders, and this was their second senior small tour international show.
“‘Sonny’ truly felt amazing for the whole test,” he said. “The trot work was so elastic and he really carried himself throughout the whole test, so I could not be more proud of him. He is a hot tamale to ride, and it amazes me how much energy he has.”
For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.